DeWine clarifies spectator limits at indoor and outdoor sporting events

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — During Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing, Gov. DeWine clarified spectator limits for indoor and outdoor sporting events.

Last week, DeWine announced all fall sports would be allowed and that spectators will be limited to family members of the athletes, band members and cheerleaders taking part in the event.

On Tuesday, he reinforced his order that outdoor sporting events will have a limit of 1,500 fans or 15 percent of fixed permanent seating capacity to allow for social distancing throughout the entirety of the event.

For indoor events, DeWine said the limit will be 300 fans or 15 percent of fixed permanent seating capacity.

“The primary purpose of permitting spectators at school sports events is to allow officials and family and householder members of the loved ones of players, coaches, team staff members, other event staff participants including marching band and honor guard for both home and away teams to attend and share in the experience,” DeWine said.

DeWine said ideally the spectator limit will allow two to four family members to attend the sporting event.

“We know that the fixed seating capacity of some sports venues, particularly our smaller schools, might not allow this to happen and that’s why we have a variance procedure,” DeWine said.

He added a variance procedure will allow schools the opportunity to submit a plan to their local health department, which will take the first action. If approved, the local health department will then submit the plan to the Ohio Department of Health for final approval.

The order requires that the variance plan include a justification as to circumstance of the venue justifies different capacity requirement and how the submitted plan will adequately achieve similar results as the requirements and guidance in the state’s order.

“it is the responsibility of the school, the venue and home team to monitor and enforce the social distancing requirement as well as the prohibition on congregating among spectators,” DeWine said.

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