COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud has signed an order to push back the statewide curfew to 11 p.m.
The order comes as the state has seen a seventh straight day of COVID-19 hospitalizations below 3,500.
Starting Thursday, the statewide curfew will be in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. until Feb. 11.
The restrictions could be eliminated if, over the next few weeks, hospitalization numbers in the state fall below 2,500 over seven days.
The curfew, which started in November and has been extended multiple times, prohibits people from being outside their homes during those hours with multiple exceptions including work, grocery shopping, medical appointments and other necessary trips.
The order can be read here.
Ohio restaurant and bar owners told 10TV they are feeling cautiously optimistic. They've learned during this pandemic how quickly things can change.
"It's a moving target," said Ron Jordan, CEO of Jordan Hospitality Group and owner of Hen Quarter Dublin. "I just want there to be consistency across the board that people are getting better and for us to see that we truly are getting better going into these warmer months."
Greg Lehman, founder and CEO of Watershed Distillery & Kitchen and Bar, said he hopes to reopen the restaurant side of their business in late spring or early summer. To him, the easing of restrictions is a sign of hope.
"Restaurants and tourists need something to cheer about. They need something to get excited about," Lehman said. "The fact that there are restrictions easing, maybe in some minds means they hit the bottom and it's going to get better from here. That's powerful and it's something this industry really needs right now."
Lehman said customers can stop by and purchase spirits at their bottle shop. Their website tells you where you can find their product in stores too.
Restaurant Week is a great time to support your local favorites. At Hen Quarter, they will feature their signature chicken and waffles and debut new menu items. Click here to learn more.