Ohio universities urged to limit classroom, sports attendance to prevent coronavirus spread


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called on the people of the state to make “tough decisions” to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

To that end, DeWine said schools and professional sports teams should limit spectators at any games.

For high school sports, DeWine compared the situation to the Arnold Sports Festival, where spectators were banned with the exception of parents and family members of the competitors.

In addition, he is also calling on the state’s universities to limit classroom instruction and switch to online instruction.

So far, Ohio State, Kent State, Otterbein, and Miami universities have canceled in-person classroom instructions and switched to online instruction for the immediate future.

For the state’s elementary and high schools, DeWine is not recommending closure but said school staff and parents should be prepared for the possibility.

“This will change people’s lives for a while and the whole goal is to make sure Ohioans are safe,” DeWine said during a press conference Tuesday.

Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Columbus Blue Jackets claim they have different ventilation systems. DeWine said he has not discussed those systems with doctors, adding that he still recommends no spectators be allowed at indoor events.

This includes the NCAA March Madness tournament, which kicks off with four games in Dayton on March 17 and 18, and includes three first- and second-round games in Cleveland on March 20 and 22.

DeWine said he hasn’t issued an order forcing teams to comply and acknowledges it is a bad time with many big events on the schedule, but “we can’t hide this.”

Ohio State announced that, as of now, the spring football game is still scheduled for April 11.

Three confirmed cases of the disease were reported in Ohio Monday. On Tuesday, the state’s updated numbers showed 15 people are under investigation with no new confirmed cases. Fourteen people have tested negative for the disease.

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