DeWine, ODH issue simplified COVID-19 guideline health order

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health issued a new COVID-19 health order Monday, condensing the important guidelines into one health order.

The new order maintains all previous health guidelines established in the state such as face masks and social distancing and now includes other orders passed over the last year, such as indoor capacity limitations and classroom guidelines.

One new allowance in the new order is the state allowing mass gatherings. Those gatherings, such as proms, graduations, and festivals, must be done with some guidelines like social distancing, mask wearing, and no groups larger than 10 people per group. Indoors, capacity will remain at 25 percent; however, outdoor gatherings will have no limit — as long as individuals or groups remain six feet apart from one another.

DeWine said the new order is about simplifying things, and getting back to the basics.

“These are the things we need to do as we move forward,” he said Monday during his coronavirus briefing. “It’s really, we can do anything we want to do. It’s just how we do it. That really is what we’re emphasizing today with these new, more simplified orders.”

The new order comes as the state sees an increase in coronavirus case numbers.

“Make no mistake, we are still very much in the thick of things in COVID-19,” said Ohio Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff during Monday’s briefing. “Our cases are rising again. Our testing positivity rate is back up four percent.”

The new order is effective immediately.

The health department also issued a second order Monday, rescinding 18 previous health orders that covered individual aspects of the state’s fight against the virus. That health order can be read by clicking below.

The Ohio General Assembly overturned a DeWine veto in March that gives the General Assembly the power to rescind orders issued by the governor or Department of Health. It will also limit a public health emergency order to 30 days unless the legislature votes to extend it.

DeWine denied Monday that the new health order was an attempt by his office to challenge the General Assembly to overturn the new, all-encompassing health order.

The new General Assembly legislation will go into effect the last week of June.

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