Ohio to allow fairs, animal exhibitions with COVID-19 restrictions

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said fairs and animal exhibitions will be permitted this year as long as they follow COVID-19 guidelines.

Social distancing and masks will be required at all fairs, according to the revised order released by the Ohio Department of Health Thursday. There is also a 25 percent maximum for indoor grandstand capacity and a 30 percent maximum for outdoor grandstand capacity. 

The state health department said fair boards and local communities should work closely with local boards of health.

Each fair and animal exhibition is instructed to designate an on-site compliance officer, for all hours of operation, whose responsibility is to ensure compliance with the revised health order. The designated individual shall be the contact person for the local health department and law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.

Read the entire revised order below:

DeWine said guidelines could change if the state of Ohio gets below 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and stays there for two weeks. That’s when DeWine will lift all remaining health orders.

“By the time we get to the second month of fairs, or possibly the first month of fairs in June, we may be off health orders. We don’t know. We just hope things continue to go well,” DeWine said.

Last summer, DeWine scaled back county fairs. They were limited to junior fairs with livestock and 4-H competitions.

COVID-19 protocols for festivals, parades, graduations and proms will be released within the next week, DeWine said.

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