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Curfew canceled: Armstrong and uptown bars to remain open later

<p>Uptown bars plan to remain open later after Gov. DeWine removed the statewide overnight curfew this week.</p>

Uptown bars plan to remain open later after Gov. DeWine removed the statewide overnight curfew this week.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday, Feb. 11 that the mandatory statewide curfew has been lifted. 

Two weeks ago, when the curfew was rolled back from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. due to declining statewide COVID numbers, DeWine announced that if the state had seven consecutive days of less than 2,500 hospitalizations, the curfew would be lifted.

The curfew, which had been in place since Nov. 19, was originally slated to last only three weeks. Restaurants and bars were prohibited from staying open past 10 p.m., and people were asked to return home by that time and remain there until 5 a.m at the earliest.

On campus, many buildings closed by 9:30 p.m. and students were asked to return to their dorms by 10 p.m. With the curfew now lifted, many on- and off-campus buildings and restaurants plan to remain open later.

Armstrong Student Center Director Katie Wilson said Armstrong will stay open until midnight starting Saturday, Feb. 13. 

She said the reason for the delay is that dining services must provide employees with 36 hours notice for a schedule change, and therefore will not be able to modify hours until Saturday, so Armstrong followed suit. 

In addition, study room reservations in Armstrong will now be open until 11:30 p.m.

“It's as close as we can get to full service given COVID right now,” Wilson said. “And, I mean, it's also a good sign for Ohio ... that high risk categories are declining, and we're headed in the right direction. If you look at the COVID dashboard for Miami, it's also so much better than it was three weeks into last semester. So it's good that we can provide those services and a place for people to go.”

Brick Street Bar & Grill announced on its social media Thursday afternoon that it would return to closing at 2:30 a.m., although the bar’s reservation policy would remain in place. Starting Thursday night, reservations can be made from 11:30 p.m. to close. 

Other uptown bars, like Pachinko’s and The Woods, also extended their hours back to regular closing times of 2 a.m.

Ted Wood and Mark Weisman both did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

While some students are happy the curfew is lifted, there is still wariness about the increase this could cause in COVID cases on campus.

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“I like it, but I do think it’s a bad idea for now,” said first-year Connor Krebs. “I feel like we should still wait it out a little bit longer.”

Other students, like senior Katie Challoner, agreed that lifting the curfew may not be the best idea when it comes to keeping COVID numbers down.

“Personally, I don’t go out a lot, so it doesn’t affect my personal choices,” Challoner said. “But I know that there’s definitely going to be way more people uptown, so that makes me nervous.”

Senior Abby Ray also worried about the possible increase in numbers of students flocking uptown.

“I think it was just kind of, at least for our campus, poor timing because rush just ended,” she said. “And so now [for] a lot of underclassmen … it’s no longer the dry period, so it kind of frees up a lot of people to go uptown.”