DeWine: New restrictions on fairs, but childcare options expand

Ohio changes mask policy back, again requires anyone returning to work to wear one
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 18:28:41-04

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced new restrictions on fairs happening throughout the state, including a 10 p.m. curfew and downgrading fairs beginning after July 31 to "junior fairs" with no games, no grandstand events, no rides and no carnival games.

"It's become increasingly clear that we cannot have a regular, safe fair in the Ohio COVID summer of 2020," said DeWine.

He mentioned seeing photos and hearing anecdotes about fairs not enforcing his state-wide mask order, and expressed concerns about this compromising the safety of fairs for everyone.

He also announced that, beginning August 9, childcare providers in the state will be offered the choice between opening class sizes up to their full, statutory ratios or accepting a subsidy from the state and continuing to operate at a reduced ratio. DeWine said through contact tracing, 3/4 of cases of COVID-19 linked to a childcare center were as a result of community spread, while only 1/4 of the cases traced back to the childcare facility itself. DeWine cited this for his confidence in allowing facilities to reopen classrooms to their full capacities in early August.

DeWine also cited concerns that, if childcare facilities were not allowed to reopen, children may be left in unsafe or undesirable conditions as parents return to work and need someone to look after their children, specifically by putting grandparents or other elderly family members at risk out of a need for a babysitter.

Despite these announcements, DeWine said deaths and hospitalizations as a result of COVID-19 in Ohio are still higher than the state's 21-day average. Data indicates emergency department visits are decreasing, but overall hospitalizations have continued to gradually rise.

Ohio currently has 86,497 confirmed case of COVID-19. There have been 38 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to DeWine, and 1,144 individuals are currently hospitalized throughout the state.

DeWine said the state is also in the process of doing a deeper dive into contact tracing surrounding bars in the state, to determine how many positive cases are tracing back to them. Although Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced on Monday he was ordering a two-week closure on all bars and a reduced indoor capacity of 25% for restaurants, DeWine did not have any announcements surrounding bars or restaurants. He indicated he may have more information on Thursday, when he next plans to address the state.

DeWine urged counties still identified as orange or yellow to continue to enforce the mask mandate and adhere to social distancing requirements, saying it will mean all the difference for students returning to school in the coming months.

"My message and my plea to everyone going forward is if you live in a yellow county or an orange county what you do and as we move forward is going to determine how school will open," he said.

He also said this will determine what guidance he may put down for high school sports and other activities, though he declined to indicate specifically what that guidance may be.

WATCH: You can rewatch the governor's address in the player below