Gov. DeWine issues order prohibiting mass gatherings of over 100 people in Ohio to curb coronavirus

Mike DeWine
Posted at 1:32 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 17:33:12-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that he is issuing an order prohibiting all mass gatherings of over 100 people in the state of Ohio in an attempt to curb coronavius.

"This is an attempt to make sure everyone understands that we cannot be gathered together," DeWine said. "We cannot be in close proximity to eachother."

DeWine read from the order, which states, in part:

Mass gatherings are prohibited in the state of Ohio.

Mass gatherings are defined as any event or convene that brings together 100 more people in the same space or room at the same time, such as an auditorium, a stadium, an arena, large conference room, meeting hall, theater, or any other confined any indoor or outdoor space.

This would also certainly include parades, fairs, and festivals.

For the purpose of clarity, a mass gathering does not include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls, centers, or other spaces where 100 or more persons may be in transit.

It also does not include typical office environments, schools, factories, restaurants, or retail or grocery stores where large numbers of people are present. But it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another.

A mass gathering also does not include athletic events that exclude spectators. Athletic and other events do not need to be canceled or postponed if spectators and other attendees are excluded. The order does not apply to or exclude immediate family members of participants in the athletic or other events as well as anyone necessary for the event to take place. The order does not exclude the media.

The order does not apply to religious gatherings, gatherings for the purpose of First Amendment protected speech, weddings or funerals.

Below is the full text of the order issued by Gov. DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton:

Students in Ohio will have an extended, three-week spring break, starting Monday Gov. DeWine said.

As of Thursday, there were five confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio. Three of the cases are in Cuyahoga County. The fourth case was reported out of Stark County. The fifth was a man in his 50s in Trumbull County who is currently in the ICU.

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