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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed an order on Tuesday reopening county fairs and animal exhibitions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

County fairs are permitted to proceed with certain safety standards, like discouraging people from gathering in the midway and establishing one-way foot traffic to help ensure social distancing.

“While the coronavirus has made it impossible to hold fairs in the way we have in the past, they are of such importance to communities that every effort should be made to preserve the Junior Fair competitions and exhibits,” the order said.

Read the order here

Other fair-specific safety protocols:

Livestock competitions:

  • Participants, spectators and judges shall, when possible, maintain of 6 feet between each other
  • Because judges need to examine the animal and thus will be close to the participants, it is recommended that judges wear masks at least during that part of the judging
  • Family members of the participants shall have priority in the viewing area
  • Each family should group together in the viewing and there should be 6 feet between families
  • Microphones shall be sanitized after each person uses it


  • The number of spectators shall be limited to one half of the seated capacity
  • No grandstand evening shall have more than 2,500 seated spectators
  • A distance of 6 feet should be maintained between spectators with the exception of family members who are encouraged to sit together

The Medina County Fair and Geauga County Fair are still scheduled to happened this year. The Cuyahoga County Fair was postponed to 2021.