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Ohio customer leaves $2.5K tip for restaurant staff struggling due to coronavirus

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As the novel coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, some are taking the opportunity to spread something else: kindness.

Restaurants around the world have been forced to close their doors to dine-in customers in order to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Such a measure was implemented in Ohio on Sunday by state governor Mike DeWine. For the foreseeable future, customers can only order in or pick up their meals, which is seriously impacting the restaurant industry.

READ MORE: Penguins go on ‘field trip’ after U.S. aquarium shuts down during coronavirus pandemic

But one kind-hearted patron recently left a huge tip for the staff of Coaches Bar and Grill in Columbus totalling US$2,500, along with a note asking employees to split the amount.

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The restaurant took to its Twitter account to share a photo of the bill, which reads: “Please split this tab equally between Tara, Nicky, Jim, Liz and Arron. The tip amount is $2,500.”

“When the going gets tough, the tough stay loyal,” the restaurant tweeted. “This loyal, amazing patron of Coaches on Bethel left the staff a $2,500 tip to help lighten the losses during this required closing of restaurants and bars in Ohio.”

The act of kindness was especially meaningful during this time and brought the staff to tears.

“Tears, tears of joy,” owner Benny Leonard told WBNS-TV. “An unbelievable act of kindness on a pretty weird day.”

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As many around the world are forced to stay home in self-isolation or as a social-distancing measure, it’s clear this happy news has been a welcome relief.

READ MORE: Watch Italians lean out windows, sing together during coronavirus lockdown

“I needed some happy news today,” one person responded to the tweet.

“Good things happen to great people,” another wrote. “Love hearing stories like this.”

Another commented: “I would love to hug this customer for his generosity.”

Leonard said it will be a tough time moving forward, but his hopes are that he will keep his business going with possible delivery options and pickup.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca