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Local stadiums try to make sense of Ohio's new health orders

Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health rescinded orders on Tuesday that required limited seating for outside events.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health rescinded orders on Tuesday that required limited seating for outside events.

"As we move to begin a new chapter in our fight against the pandemic, where more and more Ohioans are being vaccinated, this new order will focus on our best defense measures against COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, limiting large gatherings, being outside, and practicing good hand hygiene,” said DeWine.

The only requirements called for groups of 10 or less to sit six feet apart from the next group and masking. 

While the state sets guidance for seating capacity, it’s up to Columbus Public Health to approve each stadium's plan.

“We don't really know yet what it means because while there are no restrictions as far as percentage of capacity the restrictions are now surrounded by pods of 10 people or less,” said Ken Schnacke, general manager of the Columbus Clippers.

Schnacke said he, along with Major League Baseball, sent a 4-5 page Power Point plan to Columbus Health to make sure they were following all the guidelines.

He hopes to have his stadium at 50 to 60 percent capacity by opening day on May 11. 

“We want to have as many fans as we can but we also want to be as careful as we can because we know the biggest thing is people letting down their guard down,” Shnacke said.

Masks will be required for all fans inside the stadium and mask-wearing will be enforced by ushers, he added. 

Ohio State is also up in the air about how many fans it will let in at the spring football game. 

“.. at this moment, spring game attendance is still to be determined and, yes, we will be working with Columbus Public Health on what that attendance may look like,” said Jeremy Emig, associate athletics director of communications for OSU Department of Athletics. 

The Columbus Crew also is unsure how many fans will be allowed at its next match. 

“We are in the process of gathering additional information regarding yesterday’s news at this time and hope to have more to share in the very near future about this,” said Tim Miller, director of communications.

You can read the health order here

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