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Safety must be on the reopening menu

Restaurants and bars in Ohio will be permitted to reopen for inside serving on Thursday. They were cleared for outside service last Friday.

Already, there have been reports of diners and drinkers not following the rules for social distancing to guard against COVID-19. Social postings were out there of crowds ignoring safety rules in Columbus.

That prompted Gov. Mike DeWine to declare officials will do “whatever we have to do” to ensure restaurants and bars abide by state guidelines.

There are not enough local, county and state enforcement personnel available to take care of the problem if residents decide to ignore the rules.

We have heard no reports of misbehavior in this area — and we hope we do not. COVID-19 likes nothing more than a tightly-packed crowd. The disease could come roaring back with a vengeance if safety rules are not followed by bar and restaurant patrons.

We encourage local establishments to simply shut down if their customers behave unsafely. We urge patrons to follow the rules — and leave if other diners/drinkers do not.

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