Increasing cases in Ohio have prompted Governor Mike DeWine to readjust mandates for county fairs. (Photo submitted)
Increasing cases in Ohio have prompted Governor Mike DeWine to readjust mandates for county fairs. (Photo submitted)
COLUMBUS — County fairs will take the latest hit from the coronavirus.

Due to increased positive cases of COVID-19 traced back to county fairs and photos from news outlets and social media showing crowds not social distancing and/or wearing masks, Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced activities at fairs will be limited to junior fair events only.

“Because it is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot have a regular, safe fair in the summer of 2020, I believe we must now scale fairs back. I’ve made the difficult decision to limit all fairs to junior fair events only (livestock competitions and other 4-H and FFA competitions for kids and teens) starting on or after Friday, July 31,” DeWine said.

Junior fair activities such as livestock competitions and 4-H and Future Farmers of America competitions for kids and teenagers may continue as planned, but junior fairs must develop a plan that reduces crowding in barns, such as limiting entrance to only the immediate family of those actively showing their animals or projects.

“Harness racing can proceed with no spectators, but we are prohibiting rides, games and grandstand events going forward so that we can keep the crowds down,” he said.

A 10 p.m. curfew will also be instituted for the barns, buildings, and midways.

Daycares can return to normal, statutory ratios and class sizes beginning Aug. 9. Child care providers have a choice to get a subsidy and maintain their current lower ratios or they can go back to the normal statutory ratio.

Child care providers have a choice to increase the number of children and staff members to the normal statutory ratios or to maintain their current, lower ratios to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is structuring a financial incentive to providers that maintain smaller ratios and classroom sizes.

“Children cannot learn unless they are safe and cared for, and without access to child care, parents may resort to less-than-ideal options for their child’s care, such as relying on an elderly grandparent who is at greater risk for contracting COVID-19. By allowing normal ratios to resume, we’re giving parents more options,” said Governor DeWine. “We will continue to closely monitor reports of COVID-19 in child care, as well as compliance with rules and best practices, so that we can respond as needed to keep our children, families, and teachers safe.”

All child care providers must comply with stringent health and safety requirements including:

— Face coverings for all staff and children over 10, unless they have a health exemption;

— Symptom and temperature checks when staff and children arrive;

— Washing hands throughout the day, including upon arrival and before departure;

— Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces; and

— Regular deep cleanings.

Additionally, providers must report any COVID-19 cases to ODJFS and their local health department.

Tuesday’s, COVID-19 data:

There were 86,497 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,382 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 10,425 people have been hospitalized, including 2,488 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Video of Tuesday’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.