Cale McCracken, Portage Co., 9, had the Reserve Champion White face cross at the 2019 Ohio State Fair.

Governor DeWine to Ohio fairs: What we’ve seen is unacceptable

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a conference call with Ohio fair directors and managers Wednesday. According to the Governor, after fairs started in June cases of COVID-19 began to rise.

“We are now unfortunately seeing the results of some of these fairs,” Gov. DeWine said. “We’ve had one fair that has had 19 cases come out of that fair alone.”

The fate of Ohio youth returning to school in the fall rests on the operations of Ohio’s fairs the remainder of the season.

“We are really at a crucial stage in Ohio. What you do at your fairs determines if kids are back in school this fall,” DeWine said.

The Governor stressed the importance of the Responsible RestartOhio orders for county and independent fairs.

“We’ve got to get control of this,” DeWine said. “If fairs are going to continue, you all are going to have to control the crowd and make sure everyone is wearing a mask….What we’ve seen so far is unacceptable.”

“The orders are very specific,” said Howard Call, Executive Director of the Ohio Fair Manager’s Association. “If we’re going to get through this, and to be able to remain open, we’ve got to get this under control.”

Although not mentioned in the Responsible RestartOhio guidance, Governor DeWine did clarify that fair boards are expected to work with their local health departments.

“Your health department is going to control whether your fair opens and your health department is going to control whether your fair continues,” he said.

Regarding masks, a representative of the Hocking County Fair asked if there would be a mandated mask order for county fairs.

“We’re going to a mandatory mask for the State of Ohio,” DeWine said.

One fair board member requested guidance on non-fair livestock competitions: “One question that I have though is these ‘Ohio fair expos’ that are going on for two, three, or four days…can you help us get some guidelines for that because I don’t think it’s being followed?”

The governor, who was not aware of the events, had a clear response.

“That just cannot happen. We will deal with that with an order today,” he said.

No order has yet been issued.

The Ohio Youth Livestock Expo issued the following response regarding their upcoming events.

“The Ohio Youth Livestock Expo is following and going beyond the guidelines set forth by the governor’s County Fair Task Force. As a member of that task force and a volunteer with the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo, I know how much the show’s leadership has planned for the health and safety of all exhibitors and spectators,” said Dr. Todd Price, DVM. “By spreading out the shows among two locations and different days, each show is self-contained within the 72-hour guideline. Each show division will move onto the grounds, show, and then move out within 72 hours. Then after the barn is cleared, the next species division will move in.”


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  1. First of all Mr. Dewayne, you cannot force mask on people, I have a condition that would cause me more harm than good to wear a mask. I comply to my Dr only. You need to let people be the judge of wearing a mask. I will not condon to your decision and you are pushing for others to protest against you. You are walking a fine line of having protesting to have you remove yourself from office. Your office cannot keep theifs out so work on your office and leave people alone. Losing billions of Ohio dollars right under your nose. Stop pushing mask!!!!

    • Then, maybe, ask those around you to wear them or I don’t know…don’t go to the fair when you’re so at risk? Just some suggestions to stay safe.

      • Isn’t that his choice whether to go to the fair or not? If I respect you to make decisions regarding your healthcare, shouldn’t you extend the same respect to him?

    • Number one…learn how to spell. Secondly, there are certain reasons not to wear a mask. I wear one for the safety of my family… I will clarify that I have not been tested for COVID-19 nor do I show symptoms; however, I do believe people can be asymmetric and not know it. I also believe that people who tested positive are out in our communities NOT GIVING A DAMN for your safety or mine. Do I believe that masks are the save all based on what I have read and believe…NO, but I do believe in prevention. If it means the prevention of your death or the death of someone I love…I have gladly wear a mask. I would rather walk away knowing I did may part.

    • If you could read, you will see there have always been exemptions for those with medical conditions. And I really hope English is your second language.

    • No mask? Stay home

    • So your condition should put other people in harm’s way? If your condition prevents you from wearing a mask then stay home.
      Masks are not the end all protection, but it helps.

      • Did I just see what I think i saw. You just told someone to stay home because they “might” have covid and they could possibly spread the virus by not wearing the mask? (and could even if they did). For those having fear of catching the virus, they are the ones who should stay hone.

      • How exactly does any mask that not an n95 help? The holes are too big. The virus can go through. Its like trying to keep out bugs with a chain link fence. Those in fear can stay home, not the other way around.

    • And to think , I choose to wear a mask to protect people like you. Move to Florida or California. Or better yet stay home.

    • IF you have a medical condition you do not need to wear a mask. This was clear in the Governor’ s address. Please read the policy before you jump all over this mandate.

    • Wearing a mask is now mandatory in Ohio. If you don’t you are breaking the law. Get a face shield… stay home from the fair.

      • It’s not a law!..WOW what sheepeople you’ve become.

        • John, It’s a mandate (i.e. MANDATORY) just like no smoking in restaurants, going through TSA at the airport and getting patted down, wearing a seatbelt, etc. I suppose you are special and have superpowers and will not spread nor catch any germs? Other countries have been able to control the spread by wearing masks and social distancing; Italy, Spain, Canada and many, many other countries! But Americans who feel they are superior to mask wearing and that it somehow infringes upon their “Rights” have their heads up their asses and continue to believe it is somehow a political hoax by the democrats. Preposterous! You complain and whine you want economy to rebound and schools to open; until everyone practices mask wearing and social distancing America will continue to spread this virus and live this ping pong life where we have to keep closing and opening – repeat. JUST WEAR THE DAMN MASK!

    • I have both asthma and COPD yet I can wear a mask. I realize there are some true reasons to not be able to wear a mask; however, my belief is a lot a people are using this as a cop out to not wear one because they are petulant.

  2. I live in Perry County, I think it is ridiculous that any fair in Ohio is going on. I feel it is important to stay away from everyone, unless they live in your home. I’m sure the covid count will go up. ( just my opinion)

  3. Melainie I agree with you. People are not going to comply.

  4. All these fake numbers these people are putting out!!! Just a control tactic. What of all these flipping unnecessary riots?

    • How are riots and mask wearing even related? It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Neither is tied to the other. Unless you mean “protests”. It seems the leader of the group that surrounded Dr. Acton’s home had the COVID during the protests. Wonder how many anti-mask protesters are currently positive? How do you know numbers are fake? Are you a scientist? Doctor? Infectious Disease Specialist? Virologist? Or are you just part of the problem and not the solution?

  5. Numbers rising after fairs started in June, however nothing mentioned about numbers rising from half a million people protesting across the country beginning on June 6th. Only fairs are to blame now and nothing caused from protests and riots.?? Seriously, what is this country coming to?!?!

  6. Over 11 million people in Ohio, roughly 78,000 tested positive (not people, just the number of positive tests of which multiples can be attributed to the same person). C’mon people – do the math for Heaven’s sake – that’s less than 1% of the population. Asymptomatic people (according to scientists and not Governors) are not the cause of spread. The hospitals are not at a critical state and seeing a surge in hospitalizations. If you wish to hide away at home and live in fear, then by all means do so, but don’t force the rest of us to wear a mask under some guise that it’s good for us. Heart disease kills literally almost double the number of people daily than COVID has on average. Are we going to ban sugar, fat, processed foods…??? I doubt it. How many people die daily from diabetes? Far more in a year’s time than COVID. Again, where is the government’s hand in controlling that? Nowhere! Because up until now, our health hasn’t been regulated by our Governor. This is beyond ridiculous.

  7. I live in a township that has 0 positive virus in it. My kids are in 4H and have worked hard all summer But worry they won’t get to go to school because the fair is so close to school starting. The district could go red, or purple. To the lady that said just stay home if you are at risk? Really! EVERYONE is at risk! Large crowds, Kids in contact with other kids. People coming into our community from who knows where they have been or if they avoid getting testing or the 14 day quarantine from the 9 states . The governor has issued it mandatory to wear mask.and a travel advisory. Already their is complaint against wearing mask! So people that don’t care about others will not quarantine. I am happy our country community has stayed free of virus . But the fair will destroy that! As hard as our great fair board has tried to follow the guidelines of governor there is no way they can control or police the crowds and should NOT have a fair!

    • Yes! This right here about people leaving/traveling and not quarantining or getting tested. I happen to know for a fact companies like Meijer Distribution that are supplying a large chain of stores here in Ohio, does not require those that want to travel and are not concerned about the virus or getting tested upon return to quarantine. Makes you excited to shop at those stores and doesnt make you fearful at all. There are many people that have this outlook and are the ones on a large scale that are helping the spread of the virus.

  8. I agree they just want to control our lives and some are to blind to see it.

  9. Dr. Camden Brown

    You people believing all this shit are part of the problem. If you are wearing a mask and it is actually protecting you then why are you so worried about the people that aren’t wearing them?? …. Sheeple!!

    • Dr? Camden Brown.. I looked you up and if you truly are an orthodontist… I presume you have to suit up in full PPE to treat patients…. or not?? That is state mandated… are you following those rules?? It has nothing to do with politics or your rights. It is about stopping the spread of the virus, from me to you and you to me and those around us so kids can safely return to school, so we can avoid another shut down! Large groups of people should not be gathering and that includes at a fair.

    • I’m thinking that maybe someone should investigate this “Doctor” and figure out how shady he really is with his patients. Or, maybe, just another hypocrite.

  10. First of let’s look at the law. The only way Governor Dewine can impose the mask would be to implement a “State of Emergency. ” In doing so he has to declare a specific location and it can only be for 30 days. That is why no law enforcement agency is pursuing this. Mask are contaminated as soon as your fingers touch them to put them on and take them. Drs will tell you they offer no protection

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