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Local Mask Mandates Can Be Hard For Restaurants And Diners To Swallow

Anne's Kitchen, a restaurant in Powell, Ohio
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Anne's Kitchen, a restaurant in Powell, Ohio

A spokesman for Ohio's restaurant industry says such mandates create confusion and uncertainty.

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 says COVID itself presents a lot of unknowns. But he says 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.”

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