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Put-in-Bay COVID-19 Update – Island Vaccinations Begin

The big news reports from Put-in-Bay this week mirror many of those from around the world. Covid 19 Vaccinations are starting on the island with local first responders leading the way. January 5th, many of Put-in-Bay’s first responders including Police, Fire, and EMS lined up to receive the vaccine. Several local teachers from the Put-in-Bay School were also recipients of the new vaccine.

Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services Covid 19 Update

Put-in-Bay Emergency Medical Services stated the vaccinations took place on Tuesday for the members of EMS. The injections were dispensed at the Put-in-Bay Fire Department for first responders. Several members of the Put-in-Bay EMS chose not to receive the vaccine. Doses that were refused were distributed to Put-in-Bay School teachers.

The required second round of the vaccines will be distributed on or around February 2nd in a three-day time window according to Patrick Rodgers of the Pu-in-Bay Fire Department. The three-day window is an important factor in the implementation of the vaccination program. Rodgers stated the state of Ohio was being helpful in overcoming the challenges that present themselves in the winter on a remote island.

Additional Covid 19 Vaccine Recipients

In addition to the Police, Fire & EMS  and select teachers at Put-in-Bay School, several essential Miller Ferry employees received the vaccine.

While some may consider this unusual. these are actually essential personnel, as they are the face-to-face contact for all of the island freight that needs to come to the island in the wintertime. Ferry service in the winter months to Put-in-Bay can be non exisitant as the island relies on airlines to get supplies. News on the general public on the island and their vaccination schedule is expected fairly soon, according to Rogers.

Stay tuned or all the important Put-in-Bay COVID-19 updates, including upcoming information about when local island residents may expect to receive the vaccine

Put-in-Bay COVID 19 Update 05/26/2020

Today pools at Put-in-Bay are officially open! This coming weekend is the official Put-in-Bay Spring Fling to be held at the Put-in-Bay Resort. We have a few rooms left call 888-742-7829 to book. Entertainment is now permitted and many of the Put-in-Bay Bars will be featuring their well now acts.

Put-in-Bay COVID 19 Update 05/14/2020

State of Ohio officials & Govern Mike DeWine today announced additional milestone dates that after several Put-in-Bay Bunsiseses. The Governor added that additional clarification will become available over the next few days with expected operating standards and safety precautions.

Put-in-Bay Pools To Open 05/26/2020

Effective May 26th, 2020 Put-in-Bay Pool will be permitted to reopen with guidelines. I+officals from the CDC statute there was no clear evidence that pools treated with bromine or chlorine would permit the passage of the COVID 19 virus. The review order only applies to pools NOT waterparks or Amusement parks. Those are expected to be addressed in the future. Several Put-in-Bay Hotels are offering specials click here for details!

Ohio Campgrounds To Open 05/21/2020

State of Ohio Campgrounds will be permitted to fully resume operational status on May 21st. We expect to hear additional guidelines from the ODNR over the next few days.

Put-in-Bay Gyms & Fitness Centers

May 26th Gyms and Fitness Centers on the island will be permitted to reopen. Currently, there is one Fitness Center which is a hotel based at the Put-in-Bay Resort and a full-service GYM Muscle Bay Fitness that this order will affect.  In addition, several sports that are noncontact or considered no contact sports will be permitted to resume. The Governor’s staff added that additional clarification will be released over the next 48 hours.

Area BMV Locations

May 26th area BMV locations will reopen ONLY for essential services such as lost plates or licensees. Ohioans are urged to use online service where possible and the extension of the house bill will permit expired plate to bu used without a penalty until further notice.

Put-in-Bay COVID 19 Update 05/12/2020

Put-in-Bay Jet Express Returns To Service!

Jet Express officials announced they would resume limited service to Put-in-Bay from the Port Clinton location beginning on May 22nd through June 14th. The schedule can be found on their Facebook Page and website. On June 15th, the Jet Express will move back to regularly scheduled published service. Sandusky to Cedar Point and Kelly’s Island Service is still on hold and expected to resume min-June.

Jet Express officials strongly urge passages purchase their tickets ahead of time on jet-expess.com to eliminate social contact and long lines at the ticket booth. If you choose to purchase tickets upon your arrival at the Port Clinton ticket office, they ask that you maintain proper social distancing me contact measures in place while in the ticket line and while boarding the Ferry.

Ticket Windows and all employees will be equipped with proper PPE equipment and ongoing sanitizing will take place throughout the day. While onboard, passengers are asked to sit or stand with the people they arrived with and maintain social distancing as best possible. All surfaces onboard will be part of an ongoing sanitizing plan each time vessels are boarded or disembarked.

The parking lot at 49 Jackson Street will be operated initially and more lots may be opened as the season progresses. Parking gates are 100% automated to limit human to human contact.

Once again it’s great to see the Put-in-Bay business community begin to return to normal in a safe measured way!

Put-in-Bay COVID 19 Update 05/08/2020

We are pleased to announce that the Governor of the State Of Ohio has permitted restaurants & bars with outside seating to open on May 15th and inside seating May 21st! This is great news for the Put-in-Bay business community as they prepare for the influx of summer tourists tired of the stay at home order which expired last week.

Some news sources released false and misleading information over the last few weeks claiming the island was “closed” Several Put-in-Bay Hotels reported guests and business as usual although with some added safety restrictions. The Put-in-Bay Visitors & Convention Bureau stated it would be incorrect to state the island, a public place was closed. Last weekend, numerous groups were observed near the Roundhouse bar, on local docks and enjoying the island on Put-in-Bay Golf Carts.

As you might know, most Put-in-Bay Bars & Restaurants have outdoor seating and all have indoor seating! Local restauranteurs and bar owners are expected to quickly ramp up their openings while conforming with recommended safety measures.

This is great news for the upcoming Put-in-Bay Spring Fling, the annual event held at the Put-in-Bay Resort which was moved from it’s traditional first weekend in May to the last weekend to comply with restrictions that are no longer in place. Several rooms remain for this annual event which features food & beverages included in your room rates. Reservations for this weekend may only be booked by calling 888-742-7829

Local hotel owners stated the phone began to ring midway through Governor DeWines’ address to the state seeking to make reservations. The central reservation center fielded over 150 calls in the first hour after the restrictions were released. If you have a little case of Cabin Fever book your Put-in-Bay Vacation by calling the central reservation center at 888-742-7829.–

The Miller Ferry will begin their scheduled daily service on May 11th The Jet Express Fery will also being full-time service to the island mid-May.

Public Docks open May 15th with standard first come first served docking procedures. Some private docks will be opening on May 9th.

We welcome you all back as we begin the path to return to normalcy. carefully, and planned. For additional information contact the central reservation center at 888-742-7829


Put-in-Bay COVID 19 Update 05/01/2020

Since there wasn’t anyone spot you could go to get all the latest updates about things at Put-in-Bay as we navigate the seas of the Coronavirus, a subcommittee of the Safe Island Task Force created one. Made up of a dedicated group of community leaders, has met and created a blog on the visitputinbay.org website. The goal is to bring you the latest information about the current state of affairs and updated plans for the reopening of Put-in-Bay, on a daily basis, as it concerns the Covid-19 pandemic.

Island businesses, governmental entities, and any island organizations can post their policy changes, schedule updates, future plans, and what they are doing on one common site at visitputinbay.org for all to see. Coronavirus news is continually changing, so with your input, the website will change daily if needed. The
more the different island entities get on the same page with accurate information, the sooner the island can expect to begin to resume a sense of normalcy. Sometimes just knowing nothing has changed is good.

Island businesses, governmental entities, and organizations will be invited and encouraged to post their current information at no charge. If you’d like to find out more about becoming part of the blog and getting your info published as it happens, please email questions to visitputinbayohio@gmail.com You can also go to the Put-in-Bay website and check out this blog.

Put-in-Bay COVID 19 BLOG POST 04/30/2020

Island Life and the Global Pandemic

We don’t know of anyone at Put-in-Bay who has experienced a pandemic before. But for all the first-timers here on the island, things seem to be going pretty well. Since we’ve all been inside and not talking to anyone, we haven’t heard any complaints about staying at home, but we’re sure there are some. We’re all in the same storm, but not all in the same boat.

Some people are still working, some people are anxious to get to work, and a few we know say they are enjoying the quiet time. It’s like winter, but with spring temperatures. From our perspective, the return of the summer people to their cottages, the first sightings of tourists on Put-in-Bay golf carts, the opening pizza buffet at Frosty’s, the turning on of the Whiskey Light at the Round House, and the different island establishments opening up one by one were the things that added excitement to island life after a long winter.

Instead, none of that has happened. Carry out from Topsy Turvey’s, the Reel Bar, Cameo Pizza, the Middle Bass General Store, and the Forge are great, but don’t even come close to the usual activity this time of year. Our young people won’t be returning to school, lots of people aren’t back to work yet, and our seniors can’t gather at the Senior Center. We have no idea when the summer people will start arriving back from their winter homes, nor do we know when we’ll see the first
ferry boat full of excited tourists.

At this point, there are a few things we can count on. We’ll bet on Mayflies in June, the high water level in the lake, and warm summer days ahead, but not much else.
We’re not losing sleep over when the first antique car parade will take place, whether we’ll have fireworks on the 4th of July or any of the other fun things summer brings on Put-in-Bay. However, we are worried about the islanders who usually work long hours all summer so they can get through the winter and those businesses that will struggle to stay open after a season that, even if and when things open, more than likely won’t make their bank
accounts even half full.

The realization that things will change for the island in the future is also on our minds. Will socializing as we know it comes back when the virus is eradicated? Will visitors want to pack the ferries, ride in the busses and cabs, go up in the Monument elevator, swim in the pools, stay at the Put-in-Bay hotels, drink and dine in the bars and restaurants as they’ve done in years past? We’re optimistic that things will gradually return to normal, but the trail may be long and windy for everyone, residents, workers, visitors, cottagers, kids, etc.

We hope our visitors will be patient as we deal with Covid-19 and adapt to the unknown changes to come as things return to normal. Island Living and the
Global Pandemic.


Put-in-Bay COVID 19 Update 04/30/2020

As of 04/30/2020, the State Of Ohio COVID Guidelines that are in place on the mainland equally apply here at Put-in-Bay. Erroneous information was released recently indicating there was no short or long-term lodging available on the island, and that is incorrect. Put-in-Bay Resort, Bay Lodging Resort & Edgewater Hotel are open and currently serving contractors, fire suppression agents, state inspectors, and others who have chosen to come to Put-in-Bay during this difficult time.

The Current restrictions in place at this time are subject to change weekly. We do expect SOME, but not all of the correct restrictions may be extended by Governor Dewine. When these new guidelines are released, we will update you with how this may affect tourism at Put-in-Bay.

Lodging During Put-in-Bay COVID 19

The Ohio Hotel Motel association, along with the CDC, has issued recommended guidelines for the safe serving of customers, and these safety measures are in place and being followed at Put-in-Bay Hotels. These include, among other things, no-touch check-ins, elimination of open continental style breakfasts, No Contact housekeeping services, and carry out food options as is the norm on the mainland. Self Serve Coffee and breakfasts have been replaced with single-serving pre-packaged items. Any occupied room upon check out is subject to highly specialized sterilization wipedowns and cleaning.

Put-in-Bay Ferry Service During COVID 19

Miller Boat Line is running a limited schedule with daily service to and from Put-in-Bay, excluding Saturdays at this time. Please check with ferry officials before planning arrival or departure times as they are subject to change. Guests arriving for the weekend should take Friday Ferry service or utilize alternative methods of getting to the island, such as Griffing Flying Service.

Griffing Flying Service will begin limited flights to the island on May 4th, 2019, between the hours of 8 am and 2 pm. They will be posting updates on their Facebook page, and you may also reach them by phone at 419-734-5400

The Jet Express Ferry is not is service at this time, nor was it scheduled to be. We will post updates to their schedule as they become available. They are generally not running in April, and this is not unusual.

Put-in-Bay Island Services 

Post Office – The Put-in-Bay Post Office is open with regular daily window service. Individual barriers have been constructed and no more than 6 people in the facility at a time. Put-in-Bay “At Risk” Residents may request special short terms “no contact” home delivery by calling 419-285-4641 during normal counter service hours from 8 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Hardware Store – The Put-in-Bay Hardware Store is open with normal Spring Hours and walk-in service. They do hove non-contact service available by request by calling 419-285-NUTS

Put-in-Bay Island General Store – Currently, the store is closed to the public but is offering phone order service and curbside pick up by calling 419-285-4091. Hours may be limited. Be sure to inquire early in the day to get your order promptly.

Erie Island Fuel & Pit Stop – Operating from 10 am to 3 pm. If you are an “at-risk,” senior fuel will be pumped for you between 10 am, and 11 am. The inside convenience store is closed at this time.

Golf Cart Rentals During COVID 19

Put-in-Bay Golf Carts is offering “non-contact” rentals with reservations, pre-paid, and pick up and drop off. Reservations are required for this service and may be made here Put-in-Bay Golf Cart Rentals Reservations Pick up locations include their principal location as well as Put-in-Bay Resort.

Attractions, Parks & Things To Do

Most attractions on the island have not yet opened for the season THIS IS NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR!!!!! The State Parks on the island are closed; however, numerous people have been observed using the boat docks and ramps without impediment. Restroom facilities are closed; however, THIS IS NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR!

Put-in-Bay Park Trails OPEN…..No Restrooms…Never were…This is NORMAL

Put-in-Bay Bars & Restaurants

At this time, Put-in-Bay, like the rest of Ohio is carry out service only. No inside or on-site dining.

May 4th  Milestones

All manufacturing, distributional construction businesses are permitted to reopen if they are able to meet the required safety requirements for customers and employees.

All general office environments may reopen if they are able to meet the required COVID 19 safety rules for customers and employees.

May 12th Milestones

All consumer retail and service businesses may open if they are able to meet mandatory minimum COVID 19 safety requirements for customers and employees.

There is NO LEGAL RESTRICTION BY LAW prohibiting property owners, business owners, and employees from coming to the island to visit their homes, workplace, or family.

Change is Inevitable

The situation is fluid and subject to change often. Updates will be posted here as they become available. For your convenience bookmark this link and as often as we are able, we will update. Weekly announcements by Governor DeWine may advance or delay some of the above-mentioned milestone dates. Remember there will always be plenty of fun things to do at Put-in-Bay!

Finally, RELAX, this too will pass, and soon we will share a beverage, a meal, and some great entertainment together again!

For questions, media requests, or additional information email visitputinbayohio@gmail.com


Previously released

Put-in-Bay COVID 19 Whats Lie Ahead?

A little more than a month ago everything looked pretty bight for the 2020 Put-in-Bay Season. But with the world in turmoil over the Coronavirus, everything has taken a bizarre, uncertain turn. When Governor DeWine closed all the schools in the state, including Put-in-Bay School, for three weeks, that seemed crazy, but something we could handle. But the news got more serious a few days later when he announced that all bars and restaurants in the state would close. Put-in-Bay COVID 19 impact changed everything.

Put-in-Bay COVID 19 & Schools

Kids not going to school is one thing, but bars and restaurants closing is something that really hits home for island business. Those are the things that make Put-in-Bay and the other islands! One by one, things on the island happened that we never experienced. The mayor announced that the village town hall, the utility office, the bathhouse, and docks were closed to the public temporarily.

Story hour for the island’s preschoolers was canceled, the regular Rec Committee events, the Easter Egg Hunt and Talent Show went bye-bye, voting was canceled at the Senior Center, and many other things ended up in limbo. Put-in-Bay Police Chief Steve Riddle announced the department would aid in getting groceries, take out meals and mail to those who were concerned about leaving their homes. Probably the one thing that got our attention was when Miller Boat Line posted a notice saying they STRONGLY discouraged traveling to the islands unless you were a resident, employee, or doing business.

It wasn’t long before Channel 5 in Cleveland echoed the notice in one of their newscasts. In addition, the boat line put out safety guidelines for coming to the island, which included remaining in your vehicle, a reduced schedule for essential travel only, and there will be no Saturday and Sunday ferries. Despite the boat line’s and the island’s huge financial hit, it was, in our opinion, the correct and prudent action to do. The information has been made available to local businesses about obtaining SBA Disaster Assistance to Ohio Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus.

Put-in-Bay COVID 19 And The Other Lake Erie Islands

On Middle Bass, probably one of the remotest places in all of Ohio, the Middle Bass General Store started making take out pizzas and even offered delivery service to South Bass Island with pick up at one of the downtown docks. The opening “Break the Ice” party at the Middle Bass Yacht Club, scheduled for Saturday, April 11th, was canceled. The club also announced that additional changes to the 2020 Event Schedule were likely soon and would be posted on the website as they become available.

On Kelleys Island, it was announced that due to the Coronavirus situation, the police would not be responding to non-essential calls. Kelleys Island Ferry put guidelines in place to deal with the spread of the virus similar to those Miller Boat Line put in place for its ferries. The mayor asked that all residents restrict unnecessary travel and stay home. Along with the bars and restaurants, public offices, the school, and the library were closed.

On Pelee Island in Canada, the local government declared a State of Emergency following in the steps of larger communities in Essex County and across Ontario. The Island Co-op announced it will remain open saying they have increased their daily hygiene regimen to help keep everyone safe from COVID- 19. They were also offering call-in ordering and outdoor pickup, plus special senior shopping hours. Interestingly, they were actually washing money because it’s one of the dirtiest
things around and recommend using credit/debit cards when possible. Griffing Flying Service halted flights between Pelee and Port Clinton.

With all this going on, islanders, like everyone in the world, face an interesting future filled with uncertainty. Unlike other communities, our eggs are all in the tourist
business. Tourists need food! Tourists like beer! With these things off the table, how will Put-in-Bay fare? And with people a bit hesitant to travel because of a mystery virus, how will that, too, fit into the island business equation?

Unfortunately, even the experts aren’t sure when the problem will wind down and come to an end. This makes it even more difficult to plan for this coming season. Where will we be in two weeks, a month, two months, the entire summer, etc.? With the season opener in a few weeks, which is the best course? Do we go on business as usual or do we go with the flow and wait things out?

Put-in-Bay COVID 19 & Local Business

Business, as usual, is not a viable option at this point due to the quarantine restrictions we are all facing, especially with so many unknown factors. You can’t staff business, and even if you could, you could have employees sit doing nothing for who knows how long. You also wouldn’t want to order inventory and have it sit until it’s no good. You can no longer get the foreign workers you’d planned on to supplement your staff.

You don’t even know how many employees you’ll need. It’s just not just bar and foodservice businesses that are being challenged. The ferry boats have cut back their schedule and imposed essential travel restrictions. What do Put-in-Bay Hotels owners do as far as taking reservations for a season? What do the Put-in-Bay Golf Cart Rentals do without customers? The list goes on and on.

Basically, it will be necessary for island entrepreneurs to figure out together how they’ll handle the 2020 season. An uncoordinated attempt to start things moving again could make for additional confusion and chaos. But it’s not only the businesses that are stumped when it comes to proceeding with the season. Just think about all the Put-in-Bay Events that have been planned. Do you cancel the first few and keep planning for the ones later in the season, or just call everything off? When it comes to government services, the issues really take on some interesting ramifications. If you don’t know how many people will be coming and when, how do you plan for police officers, dockmasters, street cleaners, and public restroom cleaners.

The Village of Put-in-Bay depends on dockage revenue and resort tax income for its general fund expenses, plus water and sewer billing, to operate its utilities. The township has also come to rely on resort tax to supplement its spending. For island employees who work the busy summer season, the concern of little or no income this coming season has to be troubling, and what happens healthwise when you’re dealing with the ever-changing public not knowing if they might be contagious?

Needless to say, when the threat of the virus spread is over, there will still be ramifications we cannot even imagine. We will have to adjust to navigating the “new normal” of unprecedented times. Let’s stay positive and support each other as things progress with the Put-in-Bay COVID 19 issue.

What We Do Know

Some of the things we know for sure for April… The Island General Store, Island Hardware Store, Post Office, the Beverage Center, and the Erie Islands Petroleum
are open as essential services. Cameo Pizza has announced it will be open for pickup and delivery on weekends. Heineman Winery has announced it will open on April 12th for carryout wine sales only.

Topsy Turvey’s carryout is open, and their food is available for carryout as well. Put-in-Bay Resort will open April 10th with alternative no contact check-ins and other COVID 19 safety-related procedures. The island’s first sign of visitors, the fishermen coming from all over the midwest to walleye fish, will not be coming to the island due to ferry restrictions on non-essential travel. The Road Scholars who typically have their senior seminars on the island in the spring will not be coming, nor will the young students who usually come to Stone Lab on Gibraltar Island to learn about Lake Erie due to the Put-in-Bay COVID 19 situation.

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Hotel History

Put-in-Bay Hotels Have Been An Important Part Of Island History The very first hotel to be built at Put-in-Bay  South Bass Island was a small lodging facility in the early 1800s. The Gill House was a smaller hotel that could sleep up to 40 people. Over the years,...

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