MANSFIELD ─ Business owners were excited, some are relieved, to learn the COVID-19 health orders will be lifted soon.
On Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the statewide regulations, including the mask mandate, will end on June 2. He cited the decreasing case numbers and the increasing access to vaccines.
Jennifer Vanmeter, co-owner of the Wishmaker House Bed and Breakfast in Bellville, said she was excited about the news and hoped the pandemic will be over soon.
The business will add more tables back when the orders are lifted. Vanmeter said half of the indoor seating capacity was gone because of the social distance requirements. That was why they put up the outdoor dining igloos in winter to expand the service, which cost a lot of money.
The governor’s announcement will take a weight off business owners’ shoulders by not requiring them to enforce the mask mandate, Vanmeter said. It is hard to do when customers are not willing to cooperate.
She said the Wishmaker House will keep offering hand sanitizer if people ask for it.
Julie Swanger-Ensman, owner of Details Hair Salon in Shelby, said the business has had a wonderful response from the clientele in following the safety orders.
“But I think every single person will be elated to not to have to wear masks,” she said.
The hair salon installed plexiglass at the counters to divide stations off when the pandemic arrived last year. Swanger-Ensman said the device works well and will stays.
Another protocol that will remain is the more frequent cleaning. With the sanitation in between clients, the owner said it’s reduced the spread of colds or sinus infections.
“I feel like we've been very, very healthy,” she said.
Besides, clients are more aware of not coming to the salon when they are sick. Swanger-Ensman said she hopes people will adhere to the act.
Candiss Patrick, owner of the Red Fox Tavern in Mansfield, said she and her staff will keep doing what they can to help everyone stay healthy while glad that the business can soon operate in full swing.
Three large patio tables at the bar were removed to spread out customers, Patrick said, and they will not be back for now.
“If there are some people that are concerned about getting sick, they can still feel like they can come,” she said. “It's not one of those places where we just pack everybody in.”
Patrick said many customers have stopped coming because of the mask mandate. Lifting the orders will definitely help the business.
Doc’s Deli of Mansfield closed its indoor dining space due to the pandemic. Owner Susan Vander Maas said the deli will open half of its indoor capacity when the health orders are lifted in June. The garden seating is open now.
The staff will keep wearing masks while the customers won’t be required for that, Vander Maas said. The business tries to be extra careful because all the employees have elderly family members. Also, some of the staff have not been vaccinated.
The owner said they will continue being vigilant about regular cleaning, especially the surfaces touched often.