OHSAA “Fall Seasons will go ahead as Planned”

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The Ohio High School Athletic Association released a memo to administrators via twitter Friday to push ahead with practices for fall sports beginning Saturday, August 1st.

That means low/non‐contact sports and contact sports will be permitted to begin official practices tomorrow (August 1) as had been previously announced. Additional details on the fall sports seasons are below.

“It is important to keep athletic activity moving forward,” said Dan Leffingwell, president of the OHSAA Board of Directors and superintendent of the Noble Local Schools in Sarahsville. “And with that, we believe our member schools provide our student‐athletes with the safest possible environment to return to play and that our school programs are the best avenue to help students learn lifelong lessons and provide social, emotional and physical benefits that other programs cannot. Moving forward allows those students to continue to be engaged with their school coaches and teammates. Membership data also supports this decision.

“If we were to delay, our students will find opportunities to compete in sports through non‐school programs that may not be focused on safety and are not education‐based,” Leffingwell said. “Should data on COVID‐19 change and/or the Governor’s Office makes changes to our plan, we have flexibility that would allow us to look at implementing other models for our seasons.” Low/Non‐Contact Sports (Golf, Girls Tennis, Volleyball)

LOW/NON-CONTACT SPORTS (GOLF, GIRLS TENNIS, VOLLEYBALL):

Official practices may begin on Saturday, August 1st.

School vs. school scrimmages and/or contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations.

Golf – 1 scrimmage permitted any time during the season; first contest August 5th

Girls Tennis – 1 scrimmage permitted after practice begins and prior to first match; first contest August 7th

Volleyball – 5 scrimmages and 1 preview permitted after practice begins; first contest August 21st

FOOTBALL:

Official practices begin on Saturday August 1st with the normal acclimatization period in place.

No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted

School vs school contest will follow their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of the week of Monday, August 24th (Note: This sate is subject to change and subject to the approval from the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health and with the stipulation that COVID-19 testing will not be required).

OTHER CONTACT SPORTS (SOCCER, FIELD HOCKEY, CROSS COUNTRY):

Practices will begin on Saturday August 1st with the normal acclimatization period in place for cross country.

No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted in soccer or field hockey

School vs school contest will follow their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of the week of Friday, August 21st, for soccer and field hockey and Monday, August 24th for cross country. (Note: This sate is subject to change and subject to the approval from the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health and with the stipulation that COVID-19 testing will not be required).

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

If contact sports are not approved for school vs. school competition by Friday, September 4th, fall contact sports and remaining winter and spring sports will move to a condensed schedule that will take place between mid-December and the end of June. Fall non-contact sports would move forward as scheduled.

If the fall seasons begin and , for some reason, are stopped but then resume, the OHSAA has plans to move to a modified fall sports season.

If contact sports are approved for school vs. school competition, the OHSAA is prepared to set COVID-19-related requirements for schools to follow for competitions as requested by the Governor’s Office. The OHSAA will govern and issue consequences for the violation of these requirements as prescribed in OHSAA Bylaw 11, Penalties.

Conversations with the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health continue regarding the status of field hockey and/or cross country being placed into the low/non-contact category. The membership will be updated if that changes for either or both sports.

The OHSAA continues with conversations with the Governor’s Office on its plans to ensure we are in concert.

The Wheelersburg defense celebrates stopping Minford’s two-point conversion to seal an overtime victory in October 2019.

County Fairs Quickly Augmenting Plans Following DeWine Ordered Restrictions

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Following Governor Mike DeWine’s order placed on county fairs this week, limiting all fairs to Junior Fairs only during the COVID-19 pandemic, forced a handful of fair boards to amend their plans. 

The Governor’s order affects county and independent fairs with an opening day on or after July 31, 2020, will be limited to specific junior fair events.  

“We’ve seen several fairs that have been doing an excellent job to keep fair-goers safe, yet  other fairs have been connected to outbreaks; some have disregarded social distancing; and we’ve also seen a lack of enforcement of the statewide mask order. It’s just a real shame,” said Governor DeWine. “Because it is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot have a regular, safe fair in the summer of 2020, I believe we must now scale fairs back.” 

Junior fair activities such as livestock competitions and 4-H and Future Farmers of America competitions for kids and teenagers may continue as planned, but junior fairs must develop a plan that reduces crowding in barns, such as limiting entrance to only the immediate family of those actively showing their animals or projects. A 10 p.m. curfew will also be instituted for the barns, buildings, and midways. 

Harness racing can proceed with no spectators, but rides, games, and grandstand events will be prohibited to limit crowds and better prevent coronavirus spread. 

When we decided to go full fair it was not without reservation by some but we pushed forward. Not with disregard or lack…

Posted by Pike County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Locally, Pike Fair officials has had to work quickly for modifications with the cancellation of grandstand events like motorcross racing, the truck and tractor pull and demolition derby. 4H Clubs were to begin assembling their booths Friday with the first Horse Show scheduled for Saturday. Most all events involving livestock will go on as scheduled. 

Other county fairs feeling the immediate impact of the order include Preble (Eaton), Augilaize (Wapakoneta), Greene (Xenia), Gallia (Gallipolis), Columbiana (Lisbon), Medina (Medina) and Wood (Bowling Green). 

According to the Ohio Public Health Advisory Risk Levels released Thursday, Pike County (yellow) is at the lowest risk and Medina (red) is highest at Level 3. The other counties hosting fairs next week are at Level 2.

The Ross County Fair begins August 8, but last June, the Fair Board was proactive and voted to host a Junior Fair only.

As with any event today, check ahead before attending. Most are posting on their websites or social media sites with their latest important information for visitors. 

DeWine: Liquor Sale and On-Premises Consumption Limits, Mass Gathering Order, Updated Risk Levels: Athens, Pickaway & Scioto Downgraded to Level 2

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

DEWINE SIGNS NEW HEALTH ORDER FOR COUNTY FAIRS

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS

Governor DeWine released this week’s new Ohio Public Health Advisory System map.

“The good news is that more people are wearing masks in our urban counties and we are seeing the spread slow because of that,” said Governor DeWine. “The bad news is that Ohio’s more rural counties are turning orange with significantly more spread taking place. I will again urge those who live in rural counties to wear masks while in public.”

7/30/2020 Map
Remaining at Level 3:
Allen, Cuyahoga, Erie, Fairfield, Franklin, Hamilton, Licking, Lucas, Henry, Lawrence, Marion, Medina, Montgomery
Downgraded from 
Level 3 to Level 2: 

Clark, Defiance, Hardin, Athens,
Clermont, Delaware, Pickaway, Scioto, Union
Downgraded to from 
Level 3 to Level 1:

Richland

There are no counties on Ohio’s Watch List. 

Detailed data on all 88 counties are now available on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website. The system was developed to provide local health departments, community leaders, and the public with data and information on the severity of the COVID-19 spread in the counties in which they live. The system consists of four levels with specific risk-level guidelines. Each level is calculated with data gathered on seven public health indicators

ALCOHOL SALE AND ON-PREMISES CONSUMPTION LIMITS

Governor DeWine announced today that he has asked the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to call an emergency meeting to consider enacting a statewide emergency rule to limit liquor sales at establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption. 

The rule would prevent the sale of alcohol at these liquor-permitted establishments beginning at 10:00 p.m. each night. On-premises consumption must end by 11:00 p.m. Businesses may stay open, and establishments that sell food can continue serving meals until closing. 

Governor DeWine requested the new administrative rule after seeing outbreaks associated with bars across Ohio including Toledo, Cleveland, and Columbus. 

“The problem is, bars, by their nature, lend themselves to a revolving door of people in close contact, oftentimes indoors, with interactions between many different people,” said Governor DeWine. “While this may have been fine during normal times, these are not normal times. We must make a change to curb the social behaviors that will cause this virus to continue to spread.” 

Separately, Governor DeWine is also asking the commission to raise the number of liquor and mixed drinks permitted to be purchased for carryout with a meal from two drinks to three drinks.

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission will hold its emergency meeting tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. If the emergency administrative rule is approved, Governor DeWine will sign an executive order making it effective tomorrow night. 

MASS GATHERING ORDER

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio will separate its mass gathering guidance into its own order. Mass gathering guidance was most recently referenced as part of other orders, and combining this information into a stand-alone order will allow citizens to easily find guidance on holding gatherings in a safe manner. 

Mass gatherings in Ohio remain limited to 10 people.

“We have seen cases in recent weeks where outbreaks have been connected to informal social gatherings like birthday parties, neighborhood gatherings, graduation parties, weddings, funerals, and gatherings at people’s homes,” said Governor DeWine. “The fact remains that this virus spreads when someone with the virus comes in contact with others who don’t yet have it. When we gather together with people outside our households, we increase the likelihood this virus can spread.”

The order will still permit Ohioans to go to work, worship, go to school, and acquire goods and services, however, this order will offer clear recommendations on safely holding gatherings.

  • Gatherings at a household or family residence should be limited to close friends and family and are recommended to be 10 visitors or less.
  • Residents in a red or purple county, as designated by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, should limit hosting or attending gatherings of any size.
  • Wear a mask at all times at gatherings and maintain physical distance.
  • Use take out, outdoor dining, or indoor dining only when strict social distancing can be maintained.
  • Take extra precautions if you go to bars or nightclubs, where use of masks typically is inconsistent and drinking alcohol can lead to less social distancing.
  • Protect anyone with serious medical conditions at home by social distancing at home, wearing a mask, and using high levels of personal hygiene.
  • High-risk individuals should take extra precautions to limit the number of people they interact with.
  • Make the group of people you interact with most often as small as possible and make sure that they are taking appropriate COVID-19 precautions – even if you are just gathering with family friends or neighbors at your home.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 89,626 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,442 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 10,678 people have been hospitalized, including 2,534 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Volunteers Needed for American Red Cross Disaster Services

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The need for volunteers for American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts. The Red Cross says its experiencing increased needs due to predictions of a more active than normal hurricane season and the complexities of COVID-19.  

Becky Dungee, a Volunteer Recruitment Specialist with the ARC serving South Central Ohio, says “Ohio is a support region for large-scale disasters like hurricanes and wildfires – support because we do not experience these disasters in our area but we are great at helping across the country when they do happen.”  

Dungee explains the urgent need is for several reasons: 
 
It appears that Florida is in the path of Isaias. Current models show it will strike Florida late Saturday night or early Sunday morning and remain over the State for a day or two.  
 
Responses are already underway in Texas as a result of Hurricane Hanna and we also had sheltering in Hawaii due to Douglas with smaller responses in other places 
 
Covid-19 has stopped many of our regular volunteers who respond from participating due to their age or other health conditions  
 
Because of Covid-19 and safety guidelines shelter capacities have been decreased so we have to open more shelters to accommodate clients – opening more shelters means we need more volunteers. 

A Red Cross Disaster Relief Volunteer organizes packets of items for distributing to those in need. Photo provided by the American Red Cross

Dungee adds the current urgent needs are for Shelter Associates – volunteers to help set up and run shelters and Health Services Associates – medical volunteers to help clients and monitor conditions. “These volunteers (Health Services) must have a current license, for example Registered Nurse, Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedics, etc.” 
 
American Red Cross deployments last for two weeks and volunteers are asked to commit to at least one deployment between now and the end of 2020. 

For more information, contact Dungee at rebecca.dungee@redcross.org

(Photos provided by the American Red Cross) 

Red Cross Disaster Relief Volunteers measure for social distancing in a relief shelter. Photo provided by the American Red Cross

COVID-19 Cases Total 798 Over 14 Day Period in Ten County Region

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Litter Media looked back over the daily reports to the COVID-19 Ohio Dashboard from the county health departments for a 14 day period, July 16 through July 29.

The counties tracked (alphabetically) included, Fairfield, Fayette, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.

The total cases reported by the ten counties are 798 with 431 presumed recoveries. There have been 69 hospitalizations and 8 deaths across the counties during the 14 day period.

The larger populated areas are higher in number, with Fairfield County ranked first in the four categories. Ross County has the second most cases, hospitalizations and deaths while Pickaway County ranks third in total cases during the period. Scioto and Highland Counties are fourth and fifth among the total cases and presumed recoveries.

Below are the totals for each county and their respected totals in the four categories mentioned.

By the numbers: 10 County Region Reported July 16th through 29th, 2020.

Total COVID-19 Cases: 798

  • Fairfield, 354
  • Ross, 166
  • Pickaway, 83
  • Scioto, 65
  • Highland, 45
  • Jackson, 28
  • Pike, 22
  • Fayette, 18
  • Hocking, 13
  • Vinton, 4

COVID-19 Presumed Recoveries: 431

  • Fairfield, 236
  • Pickaway, 60
  • Ross, 46
  • Scioto, 31
  • Highland, 17
  • Jackson, 12
  • Fayette & Pike, 10
  • Hocking, 7
  • Vinton, 2

COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations: 69

  • Fairfield, 33
  • Ross, 15
  • Highland, 6
  • Pickaway, 4
  • Hocking, Jackson & Scioto, 3
  • Fayette & Vinton, 1
  • Pike, 0

COVID-19 Related Deaths: 8

  • Fairfield, 4
  • Ross, 2
  • Hocking & Scioto, 1
  • Fayette, Highland, Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Vinton, 0

As of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System map posted July 23, 2020, three counties are Level 3 Public Emergency (RED): Fairfield, Pickaway and Scioto. Highland and Jackson Counties are Level 2 Public Emergency (ORANGE) while Fayette, Hocking, Pike, Ross and Vinton were listed Level 1 Public Emergency (YELLOW). (See the indicators) The OPHAS map will be updated July 30, 2020.

According to Ohio-Demographics.com, there’s nearly 542,000 people in the ten county region. Fairfield (157,574) is the Ohio’s 20th most populated county followed by Ross (76,666) ranked 32nd. Scioto County is 34th (75,314) and Pickaway County is 45th (58,518). Highland County (43,161) rounds out the top five in population count among the ten counties while the other five are in the state’s bottom 20 in population size: Jackson (32,413), Hocking (28,264),  Fayette (28,525), Pike (27,777) and Vinton (13,085).

The objective of the review is to show the impact the coronavirus has been having in South Central Ohio. .0015-percent of the region’s population has been directly affected by the virus during the 14 day period, July 16-29, 2020. 

Numbers used are from the daily Ohio Coronavirus Dashboard managed by the Ohio Department of Health

Scenic Paint Valley in Late July

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OHSAA Continues to Work With Governor’s Office for Contact Sports

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The first of Ohio’s high school non-contact sports competitions begin the first full week of August, but the future for others may be determined late this week.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association reports work continues with Governor Mike DeWine’s office on plans for contact sports. The OHSAA tweeted a status update Tuesday evening, reminding participants associated with fall non-contact sports, golf, tennis and volleyball contests are permitted but was less definitive with the those listed as contact sports.

In his Tuesday news conference, Governor Mike DeWine addressed interscholastic sports. “We are living in a period of time where we don’t know what our future is” said DeWine. “Parents are making tough choices, and these choices are only going to get more difficult if we don’t get hold of this virus. Let’s get ahold of this virus.”

It’s believed DeWine may have more to say regarding sports in his news conference Thursday.

The state pulled the plug on OHSAA sanctioned sports in mid-March and cancelled Ohio’s spring sports in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. DeWine Limits remaining County Fairs to Junior Fairs Only

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In his Tuesday news conference, Governor Mike DeWine pulled the plug on full county fairs across Ohio, in favor of streamlining them to Junior Fairs only.

“It’s become increasingly clear, we cannot have a regular, safe fair in the Ohio COVID Summer of 2020” said DeWine. While not directly pointing to Pickaway County, the Governor cited last week’s report of nineteen COVID-19 cases linked to a county fair.

DeWine praised the efforts of organizations conducting the fairs and their attempts to follow state guidelines through discouraging congregation and large gatherings of people on the county fairgrounds plus granting additional funds to help fairs operate safely. However, the order came Tuesday from the state house to limit all fairs to Junior Fairs beginning with those starting on or after Friday, July 31st.

The directly impacts Pike County which was prepared for a full fair opening this Saturday.

The Pike County General Health District released the following statement after the Governor’s announcement:

The health district has worked tirelessly with our fair board for the past 6 weeks on a safety plan that complied with…

Posted by Pike County General Health District on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Representatives of the Pike County Fair were assembling to discuss DeWine’s announcement and were planning to issue a statement following their meeting.

DeWine expressed his disappointment with having to make the order.

“There’s good things going on out there, yet we’ve seen outbreaks connected with fairs. We’ve seen a lack of distancing. We’ve seen, even after the mask order was put on (July 22nd) we’ve seen fairs that clearly were not enforcing any kind of mask order at all… and that’s just a real shame.”

DeWine outlined what the rest of county fairs would look like. “We will preserve the Junior Fair (4H and FFA projects) livestock, photography, rockets, sewing… but, going forward, no grandstand events, no rides, no games, no carnival.” The order will include a curfew of 10pm with exceptions of shows that will run later.

Ross County voted in June to limit its fair to Junior Fair only, placing them ahead of the curve. Ross County’s version of the fair begins August 8th as move-in day for goats, poultry and sheep while the 4H Dog Show will take place. Shows with the aforementioned livestock, in addition to horses, will take place Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The grounds will be cleared at 7pm for sanitizing the grounds before reopening Wednesday through Saturday with rabbits, swine and beef shows.

WATCH THE GOVERNOR’S NEWS CONFERENCE BELOW

Pickaway Fair Board Disputes Report by PCPH

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The Pickaway County Fair Board stands by its argument against reported claims by the local health department linking nineteen cases of COVID-19 to the fair held June 20th-27th, 2020.

The board hosted a special meeting to hear more about the report from representatives from Pickaway County Public Health.

The Fair Board issued the following statement via Facebook Tuesday morning:

Our hearts are broken for jr. fair exhibitors, sr. fair boards, communities, and countless businesses around our state…

Posted by Pickaway County Fair on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Litter Media has reached out to Pickaway County Public Health for a statement.

2020 All-American Quarter Horse Congress Cancelled

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In what’s becoming a norm, another large scale event in Central Ohio has been cancelled.

The Ohio Quarter Horse Association announced Monday, the cancellation of the 2020 All American Quarter Horse Congress scheduled for September 29th through October 25th in Columbus.

“It is a sad day” said Scott Myers, CEO of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association in the announcement, adding “Hearing all the concerns from the local and state health departments, and the CDC, it was the right decision to make to keep people safe and healthy.”

READ MORE HERE

The AQHC has been a staple at the Ohio Exposition Center for 53 years. The event drew 25,000 entries in 2018 with events spread over 27 days each autumn.