Gov. DeWine discusses guidance for county fairs, high school sports, nursing home visitation

The Summit County Fair is still on this year despite the pandemic.
High School Sports
Nursing home generic
Posted at 4:56 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 23:38:37-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As vaccinations become available to more and more Ohioans, Gov. Mike DeWine announced initial guidance for several groups and events this upcoming spring.

Nursing homes, Long-term care facilities

DeWine discussed the national guidance, from both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which allows for indoor visitations at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status, as long as they follow the guidance.

The only time visitation should be limited, under the updated guidance, is when specific scenarios aerie that would affect:

  • Unvaccinated residents, if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent and less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated;
  • Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions; or
  • Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.

County fairs

DeWine announced Thursday that he was hopeful that full county fairs will be able to be held this year, but there may be limitations on their operations, depending on how the pandemic progresses.

"Based upon what we are seeing's our anticipation that we'll be able to have full county fairs this year so we're very, very excited about that," DeWine said. "A quick summary of it is that the fair will be able to go on, there will be some limitations in the grandstands that we have talked about before—about 30%—social distancing will be required. The other main thing is that we're asking the fairs to have signs throughout the fair in regards to mask wearing and mask wearing will be required at the fairs."

Official guidance on county fairs is forthcoming, but DeWine said that the guidance is based upon if the fairs were happening today but may change as the season draws near, considering Ohio may be out of the health orders by the time fair season begins.

Spring high school sports

When it comes to spring high school sports, DeWine announced new guidance on student-athletes and incidental exposure in the classroom.

Students who are not required to quarantine because they had an incidental exposure to COVID-19 in the classroom will still be able to participate in sports activities, granted they do not have symptoms and they follow the appropriate guidance.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, said that the new guidance will also allow K-12 student-athletes in quarantine from some exposure to end that quarantine after Day 10, or after Day 7 with a negative test collected on Day 5 or later.

Other events to receive guidance soon

During his Thursday press conference, DeWine also announced that festivals, parades, graduations and proms will have guidance issued within the next week.

"The good news is that we're going to be able to do them this year. This year is a better year than last year," DeWine said.

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