Ohio Governor: county fairs, festivals, proms and graduations expected to happen this year

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine(The Ohio Channel)
Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced he fully anticipates county fairs to happen this summer across the state.

He made the announcement his press conference on Thursday afternoon.

Fair guidance will be issued later Thursday. There will be some limitations in the grand stands, social distancing will be required, and you will have to wear a mask.

The governor says it’s possible we may no longer have health orders by the time fairs begin. The guidelines could change.

Festivals, parades, graduations and proms will have guidelines issued within the next few weeks.

He also mentioned spring sports. He says they’re basically outside and that makes things better. Students are not required to quarantine because they’ve had incidental exposure to COVID-19 in the classroom. If they are in a classroom and everyone is wearing a mask and they find out they’ve been exposed, they don’t have to quarantine from school. But, the order did say they had to quarantine from extracurricular activities. Governor DeWine says as of Thursday, they will no longer have to quarantine from sports or extracurricular activities.

Governor DeWine also announced they plan on making rapid COVID-19 testing available at K-12 schools.

He also said Ohio has four key initiatives that make rapid tests more accessible for Ohio. Since December, they have provided federally qualified health centers with more than 150,000 rapid tests that are administered on-site. They are working with local health departments to use them to address local priorities. The governor says they’ve seen local health departments partner with schools, non-profit organizations, and first responders to provide rapid tests.

Governor DeWine says they are partnering with our public libraries to make at-home tests available in more Ohio communities. During the first two weeks of this initiative, they have had nearly 120 library systems tell us they want to partner on this effort, representing more than 250 sites.

The governor also discussed new guidelines about nursing homes released from the federal government this week.

The Director of the Ohio Department of Aging, Ursel McElroy, says facilities should allowed responsible indoor visitation for all times for all residents, regardless of vaccination status.

There are some exceptions when visitation would be limited, such as if there is an unvaccinated resident and the nursing home’s COVID-19 rate is greater than 10% and less than 70% of the nursing home residents are fully vaccinated.

It could also be limited if residents have a confirmed coronavirus case, even if they are vaccinated. The visitation would also be limited in nursing homes if residents are in quarantine, regardless if they’re vaccinated or not.

You can read more about the updated guidance on nursing home visitation from the federal government here.

The governor says if you’re having trouble scheduling a visit with a loved one in a nursing home, you can call 1-800-282-1206.

Governor DeWine says they are implementing their Vaccine Maintenance Program to ensure nursing home residents and employees who previously declined getting a vaccine will have more chances to get the vaccine.

As far as visitation with assisted living, the Director of the Ohio Department of Aging says they should be allowing visits under their Ohio order. Visitation will be allowed in assisted living facilities in people’s rooms, according to Governor DeWine.

As of March 11, there are 1,148 new cases, 112 hospitalizations, 10 ICU admissions and 0 deaths. Overall, there have been 984,934 cases, 51,223 hospitalizations, 7,255 ICU admissions and 17,662 deaths since the pandemic began.

The statewide average for COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population is 155 as of Thursday. Gov. DeWine announced last week that when Ohio has 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for two straight weeks, all health orders will be lifted in the state.

Meigs County has moved from red to yellow on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System map.

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