Fairs, sporting events still face unknown future in Ohio

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With the COVID-19 coronavirus continuing to be a concern in the state, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says events where people gather in large numbers still face an uncertain future. 

During Thursday’s update on the spread of the coronavirus in the state, Governor DeWine announced he was working with an economic advisory board in order to open some businesses by May 1. 

However, when asked about county fairs, sporting events or concerts, DeWine made it clear a lot of progress needed to be made in order to prevent the spread of the virus and those would be towards the end of the openings. 

“We got to take this a few weeks at time, to see where we are. Big events, where we are mixing together, are pretty problematic, as long as this monster is out there,” said DeWine. 

But the governor did stress he wasn’t ruling out having those types of events, if there was a way to do so safely. 

“There may be ways of doing this that I have not thought about or don’t know about. If you look at your county fairs, what is the heart and soul of the county fair: it’s 4H, it’s FFA, it’s kids, and the thought that kids wouldn’t be able to take their lambs to show is just, I think that’s just horrible.” 

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton added that it will be the science behind preventing the spread of the coronavirus that will be the biggest determining factor in having large events. 

“There remain these unknowns, and each day we know more, and every day we learn a little more, it evolves. But what we do know is this: one of the things about this virus is it’s slow,” said Acton. “We’ll make moves, smart moves, small moves at first, logical, science driven moves, and we’ll watch what happens, and we’ll have to watch our numbers and the spread of the disease.” 

DeWine did say he was optimistic that there will be advances in scientific discoveries that will help make it possible to have large events again sooner rather than later.  

“We should not rule that out and say that anything is cast in stone, that we can’t do that or we can’t do that. We just don’t know, and so what we got to do is make the best decisions we can based on what we know now, and as those facts change, we can adjust,” said DeWine. 

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