COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from April 9, 2021.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud have signed an amended coronavirus (COVID-19) health order to clarify the state's policies on facial coverings, social distancing and non-congregating.
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As a part of the order, the state has clarified the following:
- Six feet of separation is required between tables at restaurants, drinking establishments and banquet facilities unless there is a physical barrier between them.
- Capacity requirements of the state's COVID-19 order do not apply to religious observances and First Amendment activity, including activity by the media, as has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic. Facial covering requirements, social distancing and congregating measures, however, are required.
- Masks or facial coverings are still required at K-12 schools.
Earlier this week, DeWine announced that he was consolidating all of the state's coronavirus-related health orders in an order to get "back to the basics," including but not limited to the following:
- Wearing masks
- Social distancing
- Limiting large gatherings
- Practicing good hand washing and hygiene
- Emphasis on outside events
As a part of the order, DeWine is also eliminating the state's capacity limit for outdoor gatherings, including sporting events. Such gatherings, however, will still be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines, with a limit of 10 people per seating pod permitted.
"We didn't make a huge deal out of it, it was in the order, was we increased the size of the [seating] pods from six to 10 and at the same time, for outdoor, we took away capacity," DeWine said. "But saying you take away capacity but you still have to have social distancing and you have pods of 10 instead of six -- the Reds, the Indians, the different minor league teams could tell you how that changes it.
"It changes it some. It could allow some more people in, but it's not going to dramatically change it because of the distancing requirements. At least that's how the baseball teams have explained it to me."