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Local Mask Mandates Present More Challenges For Ohio Restaurants

Cecelia Brockett, left, and Courtney Barefoot enjoy a lunch at the Winking Lizard Tavern, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Beachwood, Ohio.
Tony Dejak
Associated Press

Many communities in Ohio have adopted local mask mandates in recent days since a statewide mask mandate is off the table right now.
The Ohio Restaurant Association’s John Barker said COVID itself presents a lot of unknowns. But he said local mask mandates hurt restaurants because they provide another level of uncertainty.

“This is adding another layer of confusion in the mix for the operators, for the staff who is, unfortunately, going to be required to enforce this, and for guests who, depending on the community you are going into, the rules are different," he said.

Health officials said hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID patients and are urging Ohioans to wear masks indoors.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says he won’t implement a mask mandate because there’s no appetite for it and lawmakers would immediately reverse it anyway.

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