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

Health director signs order limiting mass gatherings in Ohio

Gov. Mike DeWine says the order is in response to the "rampant spread of the virus" as a result of banquets, wedding receptions and other social gatherings.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A revised health order limiting mass gatherings in Ohio has been signed by the interim health director. The order goes into effect Tuesday. 

Gov. Mike DeWine says the order is in response to the "rampant spread of the virus" as a result of banquets, wedding receptions and social gatherings following funerals.

“We have seen great tragedy associated with such events. It’s not the ceremonies causing the problem. It’s the party afterward,”  DeWine said in a statement.

In an attempt to minimize the spread of COVID-19 between people in close contact, events at banquet facilities are subject to the following restrictions:

  • No socializing or activities in open congregate areas and no dancing. 
  • Guests must be seated at all times. Traditional wedding reception events such as first dance, toasts, tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake are permitted.
  • If serving food and beverages, guests must be served at their seats. No self-serve buffets and no self-serve bar areas permitted.
  • Masks must be worn at all times unless actively consuming food or beverages.
  • No more than 10 people should be seated at a table and those individuals must be from the same household.

The order does not apply to religious observances, First Amendment protected speech, and to governmental meetings – which include meetings that are required to be open to the public.