Coronavirus: Fireworks not prohibited, but large gatherings still not allowed

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Fireworks shows are not prohibited, but large gatherings limited, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Tuesday.

With the 4th of July approaching, many communities have canceled fireworks shows.

For the shows that are still scheduled, Husted asked organizers do so in a safe manner.

He also asked that Ohioans find a way to celebrate Independence Day safely, whether that’s watching fireworks from their car, porch or backyard.

Gov. Mike DeWine has not said if he plans to extend the limit on public gatherings or if it will expire.

As the state begins to reopen and Ohio’s economy starts to grow, Gov. Mike DeWine stressed the importance of increasing testing and practicing physical distancing to keep coronavirus from spreading.

The governor, his wife and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted were all swabbed for the virus by members of the Ohio National Guard during the press briefing Tuesday.

>> Coronavirus: Warren County challenges DeWine’s data on ‘worrisome’ trends

By wearing masks, continuing to wash hands frequently and keeping 6 feet apart from others in public, Ohio can slow the spread of the virus, which will prevent the state from having to close again, the governor said.

“We must keep taking appropriate precautions to keep this virus at bay,” he said.

While Ohio  is doing well, there has been an uptick in cases in some regions.

Last week, the governor discussed a “worrisome” trend in southwest Ohio as coronavirus cases continued to climb. He identified multiple zip codes in Montgomery, Greene, Warren and Clark counties that were seeing the biggest jump.

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To combat increase, DeWine said testing will be increased in those neighborhoods an announced that a pop-up testing site would be in Xenia Wednesday and Dayton Thursday.

The Ohio Department of Health is reporting 46,127 total cases of coronavirus and 2,735 deaths attributed to the virus in Ohio.

There have been 42,767 confirmed cases and 2,497 confirmed deaths reported in the state.

During the pandemic, the state has reported 7,379 hospitalizations and 1,876 ICU admissions.

>> Amid increased spread, coronavirus testing broadened in region

There have been 590 new cases reported in Ohio over the last 24 hours. The 21-day average is 466 cases.

DeWine said that more information about plans to resume visitation at nursing homes and other care facilities will be available in the next week.

The governor also said that the guidelines for K-12 schools will be released in the next few days. The guidelines will be flexible and allow school districts to determine the best plan of action for their staff and students.

“There is a strong consensus in this state, and I agree with it, that we need to get back to school,” DeWine.

With distance learning, some students who were already behind have continued to struggle, he explained.

The governor said districts will face multiple challenges, such as busing students while keeping distance between students, and that because each district has a different makeup, most of those challenges need to be addressed locally.

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