COVID-19 Update: Child Care Ratios to be Lifted, Additional Restrictions Announced for Local Fairs
Governor Mike DeWine provided the following updates yesterday related to Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHILD CARE RATIOS
Governor DeWine announced that child care providers in Ohio may return to their normal, statutory ratios and class sizes beginning on August 9, 2020.
Child care providers have a choice to increase the number of children and staff members to the normal statutory ratios or to maintain their current, lower ratios to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is structuring a financial incentive to providers that maintain smaller ratios and classroom sizes.
"Children cannot learn unless they are safe and cared for, and without access to child care, parents may resort to less-than-ideal options for their child’s care, such as relying on an elderly grandparent who is at greater risk for contracting COVID-19. By allowing normal ratios to resume, we're giving parents more options," said Governor DeWine. "We will continue to closely monitor reports of COVID-19 in child care, as well as compliance with rules and best practices, so that we can respond as needed to keep our children, families, and teachers safe."
All child care providers must comply with stringent health and safety requirements including:
- Face coverings for all staff and children over 10, unless they have a health exemption;
- Symptom and temperature checks when staff and children arrive;
- Washing hands throughout the day, including upon arrival and before departure;
- Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces; and
- Regular deep cleanings.
Additionally, providers must report any COVID-19 cases to ODJFS and their local health department.
COUNTY AND INDEPENDENT FAIRS
Governor DeWine announced today that 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.