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New health order limits mass gatherings in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 10:07 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - A revised health order in Ohio is aiming at limiting mass gatherings in the state during a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The revised order, signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Hines goes into effect Tuesday.

“Despite the health order that limited mass gatherings to 10 people that was signed in April remaining in effect, we have seen rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said. “We have seen great tragedy associated with such events. It’s not the ceremonies causing the problem. It’s the party afterward.”

Events at banquet facilities, such as wedding receptions and funeral repasts, are now subject to the following restrictions:

• No socializing or activities in open congregate areas and no dancing.

• Guests must be seated at all times. Traditional wedding reception events such as first dance, toasts, tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake are permitted.

• If serving food and beverages, guests must be served at their seats. No self-serve buffets and no self-serve bar areas permitted.

• Masks must be worn at all times unless actively consuming food or beverages.

• No more than 10 people should be seated at a table and those individuals must be from the same household.

The order does not apply to religious observances; First Amendment protected speech, including petition or referendum circulators, and any activity by media; and to governmental meetings which include meetings that are required to be open to the public.

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