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Big, outdoor events will be permitted as Gov. Mike DeWine, state health officials consolidate Ohio health orders amid ongoing pandemic

Ohio will ease rules for large outdoor gatherings such as graduations and festivals. The state won't cap the size of such events.

OHIO, USA — As the state of Ohio continues its fight against the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud announced the consolidation of current health orders that will ease rules for large outdoor gatherings such as graduations and festivals.

The state won't cap the size of such events.

According to McCloud, the new order will encapsulate previous orders while underscoring the most important tenets that help to slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Those practices, Gov. DeWine describes as getting "back to the basics," include, but are not limited to: 

  • Wearing masks
  • Social distancing
  • Limiting large gatherings
  • Practicing good hand washing and hygiene
  • Emphasis on outside events

You can see the new orders below:

Also during Monday's briefing, Dir. McCloud detailed, at length, how to properly social distance while congregating in large groups.

"The group you're a part of at an event should not be larger than 10 people," said McCloud. "If you go to festival, if you go to a parade, try to keep your group ten or smaller and not really congregation with other groups of other sizes." 

She also encourages event organizers to prioritize one-way traffic to encourage social distancing and provide measures so that identified groups can maintain six feet apart. 

Additionally, guidance on prom and graduations is expected no later than Tuesday.

Further explaining how the new order is different than previous orders, Gov. DeWine and Dir. McCloud echoed each other, saying the biggest difference is that large events and gathers are no longer prohibited.

"Those things can take place, we can do anything, but it's how we do it," said DeWine.

"Simple steps can save lives," said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, following the announcement of the consolidation. "The new orders issued today really provide practical and responsible steps to allow each and everyone of us to live and act safely."

You can watch Gov. DeWine's April 5th press briefing again in the player below: