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Ohio Restaurants Brace for Possibility of New Lockdowns as Delta Variant Spreads

Ohio Restaurant Association logo
Ohio Restaurant Association
The Ohio Restaurant Association is concerned that another COVID-19 lockdown will severely damage the statewide industry, especially after the struggles over the past 1 1/2 years.

The Ohio Restaurant Association is expressing concerns that any lockdowns as a result of the delta variant will be devastating to the industry.

The association believes that scenario is not likely because of Senate Bill 22, which restricts the power of the Department of Health. Association President and CEO John Barker says another lockdown would cripple an already hurting industry statewide.

restaurants scaling back

“What we’re seeing across the board—everywhere in Ohio—we’re seeing restaurants stay closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, in some cases also Wednesdays. Restaurant chains closing early," Barker said. "We’ve seen coffee chains closing at 3 o’clock in the afternoon saying, ‘We just don’t have enough people to fill out the shifts.’”

Barker says that although restaurants were able to recover financially somewhat this summer, customer traffic in downtown areas is still down 60 to 70 percent from before the pandemic.

Mason Lawlor is a senior studying journalism at Kent State University, with a minor in entrepreneurship. He has been a reporter for The Kent Stater for three semesters covering sports and the city of Kent.