Coronavirus: Public Health orders 18 businesses to close

Bell, Book & Comic was determined to be non-essential and was ordered to close Friday, April 3, 2020. Owner Peter Bell said he understands the order is to keep people safe and that he can still ship and sell online. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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Bell, Book & Comic was determined to be non-essential and was ordered to close Friday, April 3, 2020. Owner Peter Bell said he understands the order is to keep people safe and that he can still ship and sell online. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, accompanied by law enforcement on Friday ordered 18 businesses to close, the same day a second COVID-19 death was reported for the county.

>> Coronavirus: Complete Coverage

The 18 businesses all were determined to be non-essential under the governor’s stay-at-home order, in effect through May 1. They included multiple pet groomers, smoke shops, a comics store, video or gaming shops and adult businesses, Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said during a Friday afternoon press conference.

Peter Bell, owner of Bell, Book & Comic on Patterson Road in Dayton, said the health department and sheriff’s office came to his business Friday and said he was not essential. He is still allowed to ship and sell online but can’t have people come through his door, he said.

Bell said he understands the order and that it’s to keep people safe, and that he did curtail his business to some extent.

“I closed to the capacity of not letting general customers come in,” he said Bell.

Subscription customers were allowed, and he made sure they were spread out. He said his shop sells board games, things to read and for people to do while they are home. Now, he will focus on online sales.

All businesses issued cease and desist orders were to be listed on the health department’s website. However, only the following were posted online as of Friday evening:

  • Adult XXX Toys, Fifth Street, Dayton
  • Bell Comics, 458 Patterson Road, Dayton
  • CR Butts, 607 Taywood Road, Englewood
  • Exotic Fantasies, Fifth Street, Dayton
  • Game Stop, 3878 Linden Ave., Dayton
  • Game Stop, 1605 W. Dorothy Lane, Kettering
  • Monkey Smoke Shop, 328 N. Dixie Drive, Vandalia
  • Petco Dog Grooming, 1150 S. Main St. Englewood
  • Vapor Trails, 854 Union Blvd., Clayton

In all, 216 workplaces under investigation following more than 3,000 complaints or concerns reported to the health department. Some of those have been removed, such as the University of Dayton COVID-19 testing site, after complaints were found to not be valid, Cooper said.

“We will continue to review the full list,” he said.

The Ohio Department of Health on Friday reported a second death due to the coronavirus of a Montgomery County resident. The victim was a woman 80 or older, ODH data showed. However, Cooper said Public Health did not have any information about the case. The ODH also reported 57 confirmed cases for the county and 14 hospitalizations.

The first person to die in the county attributed to the coronavirus pandemic was a man, also 80 or older.

>> Coronavirus: Montgomery County has 1st death

Cooper has said the number of confirmed cases will never be an accurate picture of the total virus presence. Most people will recover at home with mild symptoms.

He urged residents to use common sense, including limiting trips to the grocery store, to only go out for essential items, to not have parties or allow children to have play dates or sleepovers.

“Anyone you come into contact with may be carrying the virus,” Cooper said.

As people go outside to enjoy the warmer weather, he said to maintain social distancing.

>> Coronavirus: Local ER visit decline a positive sign for outbreak efforts

The capacity of emergency departments is open across area hospitals with the drop in ER visits continuing into last week, Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director for Public Health said.

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