Gov. DeWine | Ohioans can plan for proms, graduations, sports and entertainment events
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) - Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the next steps to easing some public health restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor said sporting and entertainment events will be able to reopen with 25% maximum indoor capacity and 30% maximum outdoor capacity provided they follow COVID-19 precautions.
“This is a start,” said Gov. DeWine during the press briefing. “If the situation improves in spring and summer, this could be expanded.”
Some of those protocols required will include mandatory mask wearing for employees and customers, spectator pathways that allow for social distancing and seating in pods of no more than six people (recommended to be of the same household). Gov. DeWine also says the ‘pods’ must be separated by at least six feet.
As for general admission tickets including lawns, standing room only and infields, the governor says they would be allowed as long as masks are worn, and six-foot distancing can be maintained.
“The coming months will be critical as new variants of the virus spread throughout the nation and Ohio, but we are optimistic.”
Gov. DeWine said guidance will be available soon for proms, banquet centers, wedding receptions, fairs, festivals and parades.
Gov. DeWine also announce that beginning March 1st, the state will lift restrictions on visitors to state behavioral health hospitals.
Safety measures will remain in place at facilities such as mask requirements, hand hygiene protocols and time limits.
Next week, Ohio will have 310,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. DeWine says due to this, the state will be adding more vaccine provider sites including some Meijer and Walmart sites and more independent pharmacies.
RiteAid, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, local health departments and hospitals will also have more doses.
Gov. DeWine said Thursday state officials believe once the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available, Ohio will have another 91,000 doses during the first week.
Officials say all doses requested by schools through the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program have been allocated to local providers. Gov. DeWine says some school staff members have already received their second dose and second dose clinics are underway.
Officials say only 10 districts in the State of Ohio are operating with a fully remote learning model. 416 districts are operating on a five-day in-person learning model.
Gov. DeWine announced a decline in COVID cases among nursing home residents.
“We had 369 new nursing home cases this past week,” said Gov. DeWine. “Compare that to 2,832 new cases in one week in December.”
“Decreasing trends continue among COVID hospitalizations in Ohio overall, and especially for those 80+. In December, this group made up more than 25 percent of COVID hospitalizations. This month, that number has dropped to about 18 percent.”
Gov. DeWine says four more counties moved from the red status on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System Map to orange.
“For the past several weeks, our alert map has stayed the same. This week, we have four counties moving to orange which brings our total to eight orange counties. This shows that case rates for these counties are starting to drop—which is good news.”
In our region, Lawrence, Scioto, Pike, Jackson, Meigs and Athens counties remain red. Gallia and Vinton are listed as orange.
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