As Gov. Mike DeWine laid out orders for Ohio’s county and independent fairs to operate amid COVID-19, his goal was to try to provide an outlet for young people who participate in 4-H and FFA to do so safely during the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the governor held a call with county fair board members from across Ohio to ask them to maintain those rules in order for fairs to remain open.
“What we have unfortunately started to see is some fairs that were not following the guidelines we provided,” DeWine said, noting that 19 coronavirus cases have come from a single county fair. “The reason we provided extra money to each county fair was to help them to be able to provide safety. We want these fairs to continue, but they have to follow the rules and what the local health department says.”
The governor also has issued a statewide mask order, which goes into effect July 23 at 6 p.m.
“With the new order put in place, everyone on the fairgrounds is going to have to have a mask on and following the other protocols we have in place,” DeWine said. “We do not want to be in a position to close fairs, but fair boards will have to own their own fair and work with their local health department.”