COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently provided updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including guidance on fairs.
Gov. DeWine announced the Ohio Department of Health issued a revised order that allows for the reopening of all fair activities if certain health conditions are met. The updated order includes compliance with the statewide mask order and social distancing.
Additionally, there will be a 25 percent maximum for indoor grandstand capacity and a 30 percent maximum for outdoor grandstand capacity.
The revised order, which was issued by the director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Stephanie McCloud, allows fairs and animal exhibitions to open with exceptions. The previous orders, which were issued on July 30, 2020, are rescinded.
The order states “The adjustment of (the previous orders) is able to proceed based upon the facts and the science existing at this time in Ohio, however if the situation continues to improve, then more restrictions will be lifted, and if the situation deteriorates additional targeted restrictions will need to be made.”
The new orders note that these are the “minimum acts that must be taken and if people do more than the minimum to act safely, it will benefit everyone.”
The following are included in the revised order, with more, in-depth information available on the governor’s website:
Fairs and animal exhibitions are permitted to reopen within the state. Fair boards should work closely with local board of health. Operations shall continue to comply with social distancing requirements of a six-feet distance.
Facial coverings are required to be worn at all times, by all people on the fairgrounds unless they are actively eating or drinking.
In addition to social distancing, visitors and participants should wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible, covering coughs or sneezes with the sleeve or elbow, regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces and not shaking hands.
For exhibitions, the following guidelines were given in the revised order:
Organizers and managers should conduct the event in a manner that discourages the large gathering of people on the midway, in buildings or other parts of the grounds. One-way traffic should be organized when possible.
Family members of the participants should have priority in the viewing area and be spaced six feet from other families. Microphones should be sanitized after use by each person. Virtual competitions, exhibitions and auctions are not required, but should be considered.
Guidelines for campgrounds and food areas are to follow the same guidelines and standards as set in spring 2020.
Amusement rides should be cleaned and be contact-free when possible.
This order is in full effect until the director of ODH rescinds or modifies the order.
Information provided by ODH and the Office of Mike DeWine, governor.