COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted provided the following updates this week on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preble County remains at Level 3
During his Thursday address, Gov. DeWine revealed that Preble County will remain at Level 3 on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System for the second consecutive week. Along with Preble County, five other counties including Erie, Lorain, Lucas, Mercer and Montgomery County are under a Level 3.
“[Preble County] is red due to a high incidence,” Gov. DeWine said Thursday. “They’re red because they meet the CDC’s threshold for high incidence. They added 60 cases during the past two weeks out of 323 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. That’s close to 20 percent of their total number of cases. They have two significant outbreaks, and half of their cases are because of community spread.”
While Preble County remains under a Level 3, the county did improve its standing among counties ranked by highest occurrence of COVID-19 cases.
Ranked as fourth-highest in the state last week with 173.7 cases per 100,000 people, Preble County dropped down to 146.8 cases per 100,000 people this week. Despite the improvement, it is still significantly higher than the threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 people used to determine if a county is experiencing a high incidence of COVID-19 cases.
Sports Order Variance Process
Gov. DeWine on Tuesday discussed the recently-issued Director’s Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club, and Professional Sports.
The order limits the maximum number of spectators gathered at an outdoor sports venue to the lesser of 1,500 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity. The maximum for indoor sports venues is the lesser of 300 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity.
“The main purpose of permitting spectators at school sports events is for officials and loved ones of players, coaches, team staff members, other event participants to attend,” Gov. DeWine said. “Ideally, the spectator limit would enable at least two, and perhaps up to four, family members to attend a sports event, provided that the venue is large enough to allow at least six feet of social distancing between groups.”
If a venue has more room to permit additional socially-distanced spectator capacity, a variance provision in the order allows schools to request a higher spectator limit by submitting a plan in writing to their local health department and the Ohio Department of Health. The variance plan must include a justification for increased capacity and an explanation of how social distancing will be maintained between family groups.
It is the responsibility of the school/venue to monitor and enforce the social distancing requirement, prohibition on congregating among spectators, and the other provisions outlined in the sports order. Evaluating a sports venue’s variance plan may require conversations with school/venue officials and a site visit. The Ohio Department of Health will rely upon local health departments to conduct the first assessment of the variance plan.
Variances will not be granted to expand the number of fans beyond family members of both teams and others who may perform during the event.
Entertainment Venue Order
Interim Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes on Tuesday signed the Director’s Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Entertainment Venues.
Governor DeWine on Tuesday reminded Ohio citizens to complete the 2020 Census.
The Census determines how $675 billion is distributed among the states and Ohio’s representation in Congress.
Those who have not yet completed the census can do so at www.2020Census.gov or by calling 1-844-330-2020.
Lt. Gov. Husted provided a reminder about the Ohio Diversity & Inclusion Technology Internship Program, which pairs college students with tech companies and any company with a technology-related need.
The program is looking for additional businesses to apply. Visit development.ohio.gov for more information.
Current COVID-19 Data
There are 118,828 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,076 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 13,150 people have been hospitalized, including 2,929 admissions to intensive care units as of Thursday, Aug. 27. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Video of Tuesday and Thursday’s full updates, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.