HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Festivals, proms, graduations, parades and more can happen under a new, consolidated health order to be issued by the Ohio Department of Health.
Gov. DeWine announced the change Monday during a press conference to provide updates on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in Ohio.
Gov. DeWine says the new, single health order is designed to replace numerous orders that were issued in 2020.
Gov. DeWine called it a ‘common sense order’ that will streamline previous orders to underscore the most important tenants of infection prevention like masking, social distancing and limiting large gatherings.
Health officials say the new order clears the way for larger gatherings to take place, where previous orders limited gathering to 10 people or less.
The new order will allow for larger gatherings but will encourage that groups within the larger gathering stay ten people or less.
“Spring and Summer are going to look a lot different in Ohio,” said Gov. DeWine.
The order will be signed Monday by state health director Stephanie McCloud, with further information to come once it is made available.
DeWine also detailed a push to vaccinate college students in the state during April. He visited a clinic at Ohio State earlier Monday. The governor says the goal is to vaccinate students before they start leaving campus next month.
In addition, DeWine said the state is developing plans to vaccine high school students, 16 and older, and will work to make the Pfizer vaccine — the only one approved for 16- and 17-year-olds — available to them. The timeline is to have eligible high school students vaccinated before the end of the school year.
Last week, DeWine provided his most recent update on where the state stands in meeting the standard for him lifting his pandemic health orders. He has set a benchmark of 50 cases per 100,000 people over two weeks for those orders to end. The rate stands at 167.1.
Vaccination in Ohio is open to anyone 16 or older.
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