Week in Review > Week in Review – 08/21/2020Posted by Vanessa Gabriele on August 21st, 2020
While daily case growth moved back above 1,000 Thursday after a few days below that threshold, the latest update to the state’s health alert system showed more counties dropping out of the higher risk “red” category, including a couple of the most populous ones. The nine red counties are the fewest since the alert system launched several weeks ago, Gov. Mike DeWine said at his regular COVID-19 briefing. Seven counties dropped from red to orange since last week, while four moved up into the red category — Clark, Lorain, Preble and Trumbull.
The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) recently released a data brief on the state’s COVID-19 statistics, just ahead of when Ohio crossed the 100,000-case threshold. All 88 counties have seen cases, the report said, and while around half the cases have been among those ages 30 to 59, nearly 60 percent of hospital admissions and 90 percent of deaths were among those 60 years or older.
Face shields can be used in exceptional circumstances but are not suitable as a blanket replacement for masks in K-12 schools, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) said over the weekend, citing federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance.
The DeWine administration will not stand in the way of Ohio athletes playing sports this fall — for now, at least. During his coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that his administration would be releasing an order to allow all contact and non-contact sports to move forward statewide. The order, which was signed Wednesday, applies to all organized sports in the state, not just the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). Schools will, however, be permitted to move fall sports seasons to the spring if that is the desire of the school. Only family members and close friends of players and halftime performers — such as marching band members — will be allowed to attend the games as spectators, the governor said.
Specifically, the sports order provides that the maximum number of individuals allowed to gather at outdoor sports venues is the lesser of 1,500 or 15 percent of the facility’s fixed seating capacity. For indoor venues, that number drops to the lesser of 300 spectators or 15 percent of the arena’s capacity. The order, signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes on Wednesday evening, applies to youth, collegiate, amateur, club and professional sports across the Buckeye State.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) recommends, but will not mandate, that schools ask student-athletes and their parents/guardians to sign liability waivers before being allowed to participate in sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, OHSAA Interim Executive Director Bob Goldring told Hannah News on Wednesday. “We have offered a waiver sheet to our schools that we recommend that they consider using for their student-athletes, but we are not requiring that that is used. … The liability issue does weigh on our minds, particularly because there’s not a bill in place that protects schools or nonprofit organizations at this point. We do feel confident that at some point that is going to get passed through the Legislature,” Goldring said during a press call.
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