Ohio police board up bar that defied COVID-19 shutdown order

The bar held a gathering of 40 people instead of closing per the governor's mandate


New York Daily News

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati police boarded up a bar that ignored the governor’s orders to shut down — and instead held a sit-down banquet for about 40 people amid the growing coronavirus outbreak, authorities announced Tuesday.

Authorities descended on the Queen City Lounge in the city’s South Fairmount neighborhood Monday night, and cleared out the group that had assembled there for a private function, Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate told reporters.

Police officers watch as workers board up the Queen City Lounge in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo/TNS)
Police officers watch as workers board up the Queen City Lounge in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo/TNS)

Police then shut down the establishment and charged the person responsible, who was not the owner, Neudigate said.

A day earlier, Gov. Mike DeWine issued a series of orders to prevent any further spread of the virus — including a requirement that all restaurant dining rooms shut down, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Neudigate said the establishment was given a warning the evening the order was issued.

“We are all about voluntary compliance. We ask for cooperation,” the official said. “The second time we go back, and it’s not just a slight oversight when you have 40 people inside. I think it’s quite clear … that we’re in the middle of a pandemic that we’ve never experienced. We just don’t have time to go back and ask for compliance 3, 4, 5 times.”

The establishment has been padlocked and barricaded, and officials are also looking to remove its liquor license and food permits, WLWT reported.

Police Cpt. Paul Broxterman called the bar a “problematic location” for authorities.

Neudigate said that the owner of the building, who had subleased the space to the club operators, was cooperative with police.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 50 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state Monday, with 14 requiring hospitalization, according to the Enquirer.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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