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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Big, outdoor events OK under simplified Ohio pandemic orders

Asked how that would be enforced at a typically crowded festival, DeWine said: "People just need to use common sense.”

Ohio's newly simplified pandemic restrictions will continue requirements for wearing masks and social distancing in public but will ease rules for large outdoor gatherings such as graduations and festivals, state officials said Monday.

“The reason we are issuing a new health order now it is simply we knew more today than we did back when the virus started,” DeWine said.

Though the state will no longer limit the size of such events, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said participants would be asked to stay separated in groups of 10 or fewer — rather than merging into one huge crowd — to help reduce possible spread of the coronavirus.

Asked how that would be enforced at a typically crowded festival, DeWine said: "People just need to use common sense.”

“When you are waiting in line for a hot dog or standing in line at festivals, we ask that you continue to stay 6-feet apart,” DeWine said.

The governor acknowledged that during proms he knows kids who are slow dancing won’t be 6 feet apart, but said he trusts that schools know how to pull off events safely.

Indoor facilities are still limited to 25% of fixed seating capacity.

The Ohio restrictions issued throughout the pandemic are being updated and consolidated this week to make them simpler for residents and event organizers to understand, state officials said.

They emphasize the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, staying in smaller groups and sanitizing, health director Stephanie McCloud said.