No capacity limits on outdoor events; new simplified health order stresses social distancing and masking

A new, simplified health order will encompass previous orders in an effort to make the orders simpler and easier to follow, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during his news conference Monday afternoon.

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The following announcements were made during Monday’s news conference:

  • DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud announced a consolidation of some of the health orders to make them more simple and easier to understand. The new, simplified order calls for many of the same requirements as before and are highlighted by mask wearing, social distancing, limiting groups to 10 or less people, and constant sanitizing.

>> READ THE COMPLETE NEW ORDER

  • DeWine said the order emphasizes common sense and “getting back to the basics.”
  • DeWine and McCloud emphasized the order focuses mainly on the mask wearing, social distancing, and group size limitations.
  • DeWine said the order will make it clear that graduations, proms, and festivals can occur with the guidance written in the orders. He added that events like festivals are safe and can go on with people following “common sense” as outlined in the orders. He used the example of a festival, saying the order will say the festival is ok, but if you’re waiting in a line, wear a mask and give some distance between you and the next person to prevent potential COVID spread.
  • “Spring and summer’s going to look a lot better this year for Ohioans, but it’s going to be based on that common sense,” DeWine said.
  • Outdoor events like festivals will no longer have occupancy limits, but the order will limit groups to be 10 or less and spaced out by at least six feet. Indoor events will still have a 25 percent occupancy limit, McCloud said.
  • DeWine said the state is turning some focus on getting high school students, 16 and older, vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. DeWine said the goal is to have as many students vaccinated that want it before the break for summer.
  • DeWine announced a new program called Ohio RISE, designed to help parents keep custody of their children who suffer from complex issues such as developmental disability and mental illness, or substance abuse. DeWine said the program was designed to help get these children the support and help they need without parents relinquishing custody to area children services agencies.
  • DeWine said vaccination will not be required for students to attend school or college in the fall. He said the state does not plan on making any kind of requirement, but will continue to urge and strongly encourage people to get vaccinated as their turn comes up and as more shots become available.