>> Ohio to allow contact and non-contact sports to resume competitions
Contact and non-contact competition can resume for all sports, as long as health guidelines, such as daily symptom assessment and immediate isolation and care for anyone who develops symptoms, are followed as part of a short-term order issued by the Ohio Department of Health.
Other guidelines include testing for all players, coaches, athletic trainers, support staff and officials before travel and competition; face coverings for athletic trainers as they tend to a play; and strict social distancing for players not actively engaged in competition, said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.
>> Federal, state jobless benefits could stretch 98 weeks in total
Face coverings are strongly recommended, when possible, for coaches and officials.
The short-term order, which is approximately a week, will help the state learn more about how sports can operate and any possible guidelines that can be issued, Husted said.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced a public health order requiring face coverings in seven counties with a very high risk of coronavirus exposure and spread.
People in Montgomery, Butler, Hamilton, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Huron and Trumbull counties are required to wear masks as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.
All seven counties are red alert, or Level 3, counties, based off a new alert system unveiled by DeWine Thursday.
>> Coronavirus: Mask order issued for Montgomery, Butler counties
The alert system was created to inform residents, businesses and local officials the risk of coronavirus spread and exposure in each county.
The system has four levels of varying severity. The levels are determined by how many data indicators each county meets. The more indicators met, the higher the risk of coronavirus spread and exposure.
Under the mask order, people in those seven counties are required to wear masks while inside any location that is not a residence and while outside and unable to maintain at least 6 feet of space between others.
The order will be in effect until those counties no longer meet the indicators to be classified under red (Level 3) or purple (Level 4) alert.
“What’s going on in those counties is very frightening,” DeWine said. “But the good news is we can fight back.”
By practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and increasing testing in those regions, the governor said.
>> Coronavirus Alert Levels: What do they mean?
DeWine said he’s spoken to public health officials in all seven counties to see why the virus is spreading in those regions.
The spread is attributed to large family gatherings, such as birthday and graduation parties and funerals, as well as spread at workplaces, tourist destinations and churches, DeWine said.
There have been 58,904 total cases of coronavirus and 2,970 deaths attributed to the virus in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
>> Dayton police called 12 times for possible mask law violations
Nearly 950 new cases were reported Tuesday.
The state is reporting 55,150 confirmed cases and 2,718 confirmed deaths as of Tuesday.
There have been 8,383 hospitalizations and 2,101 ICU admissions due to the virus in Ohio.
>> Coronavirus: Health district, Springfield offering three free testing clinics
>> Coronavirus: Area schools await local public health guidance before reopening
>> Dayton to offer residents free face masks