DeWine Coronavirus Ohio

Ohio Issues Revised Health Order for Mass Gatherings

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes has signed a revised health order limiting mass gatherings in the state.

“Despite the health order that limited mass gatherings to 10 people that was signed in April remaining in effect, we have seen rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals,” said Gov. Mike DeWine in a release. “We have seen great tragedy associated with such events. It’s not the ceremonies causing the problem. It’s the party afterward.”

DeWine mentioned such revisions would be forthcoming during a special address Nov. 11. Effective Nov. 17, 12:01 a.m., the revisions affect social gatherings where people are in close contact, such as wedding receptions, funeral repasts and other events at banquet facilities.

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through airborne particles, the following restrictions are now in place:

  • No socializing or activities in open congregate areas and no dancing.
  • Guests must be seated at all times. Traditional wedding reception events such as first dance, toasts, tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake are permitted.
  • If serving food and beverages, guests must be served at their seats. No self-serve buffets and no self-serve bar areas permitted.
  • Masks must be worn at all times unless actively consuming food or beverages.
  • No more than 10 people should be seated at a table and those individuals must be from the same household.

The order clarifies that the restrictions don’t apply to religious observances; First Amendment-protected speech, including petition or referendum circulators and any activity by the media; and governmental meetings, including those required to be open to the public.

Pictured: In this Dec. 13, 2019, file photo, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during an interview at the Governor’s Residence in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.