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Coronavirus In Ohio: Convenience Stores, Gas Stations Can Offer Self-Service Food Again

A Sheetz convenience store in Mansfield, Penn.
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A Sheetz convenience store in Mansfield, Penn.

If you’ve been missing that perfect donut out of the glass case to go with your morning coffee, or the rollers full of hot dogs at gas stations, your wait should soon be over.

Ohio has given the green light to retailers to resume selling buffet-style and to-go self-serve items, which have been shelved for months to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Under an amended public health order issued by the Ohio Department of Health, all retail food establishments can reopen their self-service food stations under new rules beginning Thursday. However, the order does not apply to restaurants, who are still barred from reopening buffets.

The requirements are much the same as for most caterers, restaurants and reception venues that have already been allowed to resume business. That means required face masks for employees and customers, more cleaning and sanitizing, safe distancing and policies that keep sick employees home and away from the food.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.