Big, outdoor events OK under simplified Ohio pandemic orders

(Darrin Wright/1190 WOWO 107.5 FM)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP): Ohio’s newly simplified pandemic restrictions will continue requirements for wearing masks and social distancing in public but will ease rules for large outdoor gatherings such as graduations and festivals, state officials said Monday.

Though the state will no longer limit the size of such events, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said participants would be asked to stay separated in groups of 10 or fewer — rather than merging into one huge crowd — to help reduce the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Asked how that would be enforced at a typically crowded festival, DeWine said: “People just need to use common sense.”

Indoor facilities are still limited to 25% of fixed seating capacity.

The Ohio restrictions issued throughout the pandemic are being updated and consolidated this week to make them simpler for residents and event organizers to understand, state officials said.

They emphasize the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, staying in smaller groups, and sanitizing, health director Stephanie McCloud said.

DeWine also said the state doesn’t intend to require a coronavirus vaccination for K-12 or college students next school year. But he urged those age 16 and up who are eligible for the vaccine to get it.

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