TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s two big amusement parks will open in early July, but initially to season pass holders only.
Kings Island near Cincinnati will open on July 2 while Cedar Point in Sandusky will start its season on July 9, the parks announced on Tuesday.
Both will only be open to season pass holders to start with other guests welcomed at a later date.
The parks, which had delayed their openings because of the coronavirus, said they will require all visitors to wear masks and complete health screenings and temperature checks.
Cedar Point and Kings Island along with an indoor water park operator sued the state last week, saying Ohio officials did not have the authority to shut them down. The lawsuit came after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine had allowed other tourism businesses to open, including zoos, museums and aquariums.
A day later, DeWine announced that amusement parks could reopen.
Online reservations also will be required for visitors and social distancing will be in place throughout the parks, including in the lines for rides.
Both parks, which are owned by Ohio-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., said it will announce at a later date when its water parks will open.
Here are other virus-related happenings from Tuesday:
CANCELLATIONS AND OPENINGS
Organizers of the Air Force Marathon near Dayton have canceled the Sept. 17-19 event at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in favor of a virtual event. They cite concerns a high-quality event isn’t possible amid the pandemic. The marathon normally draws thousands of runners from around the nation and overseas. The Dayton Daily News reports its the first cancellation since during the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will reopen Wednesday, the same day when a host of entertainment venues are allowed to begin welcoming back the public. Those include movie theaters, art galleries and museums, skating rinks, outdoor playgrounds and zoos. Drive-in movie theaters were allowed to reopen May 12.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles will resume skills testing Friday at select driver exam stations in Findlay, Bedford, Columbus, Newark, Jackson and Cincinnati. Exams will be by appointment only.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a lower court decision that called for the transfer or release of more than 800 elderly and medically vulnerable inmates because of the COVID-19 pandemic at a low-security federal prison in eastern Ohio.
A three-judge panel ruled that a federal judge in Cleveland abused his discretion when he granted the transfers at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution opposed by the Bureau of Prisons.
The ACLU of Ohio issued a statement Tuesday that said the ruling “is a major loss for incarcerated people who are at risk from this deadly disease.” ACLU officials said 1 in 4 inmates at the prison in Columbiana County have tested positive for COVID-19 and nine inmates have died.
LAGGING TAX REVENUE
State tax receipts fell below estimates in May for the third consecutive month, the Office of Budget and Management reported Monday. Total receipts of $271.3 million were 13% behind projections, according to preliminary data, a lag led by a 25% shortfall in auto sales taxes and a 15% shortfall in income taxes. Budget director Kimberly Murnieks said shortfalls were not as dramatic as they were in April, signaling the initial signs of an economic recovery.
As of Tuesday, Ohio has recorded 39,162 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, with 2,421 confirmed or probable COVID-19 deaths, up 17 from the previous day, the health department said.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause more severe illness and can lead to death.
The number of virus-related hospitalizations in the state was 6,620.
Associated Press writers Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Dan Sewell in Cincinnati and Mark Gillispie in Cleveland contributed to this report.