Ohio governor urges public to call authorities on businesses violating pandemic rules
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) urged residents to call law enforcement or local health departments on businesses that are violating the state’s coronavirus pandemic rules.
DeWine tweeted out Lt. Gov. Jon Husted’s (R) message from a Tuesday press conference that the public should inform officials if nonessential businesses are staying open in defiance of the state government’s restrictions.
.@LtGovHusted: If you believe a business is in violation of the rules, call your health department or local law enforcement.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 24, 2020
During the press conference, Husted asked owners and managers to make wise decisions about whether their businesses are essential, rather than clogging the phone lines of law enforcement and local health departments. But he said business owners should be prepared to justify their decisions to remain open.
“If you’re somebody that clearly isn’t qualified under this order, you will eventually be called on it by an employee, by a competitor, by a neighbor. Somebody will call you on it,” Husted said.
“If you do that, the local health department is going to come investigate and hold you accountable,” he added.
On Sunday, Ohio announced that only essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, food banks, and food and beverage manufacturing and production facilities should remain open as the nation tries to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Nonessential businesses should remain open only if their employees can work from home.
The governor also issued a stay-at-home order for all residents to go into effect Monday, joining at least 15 other states.
Ohio has recorded 564 confirmed cases of the virus, leading to 145 hospitalizations and eight deaths.