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Ohio interim health director signs order allowing county fairs with restrictions Staff




File photo courtesy of Stephen Marc / Pixabay

Lance Himes, the interim director of the Ohio Department of Health, announced Tuesday that he has signed an order regarding county fairs amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

County fairs are permitted to take place with certain rules and regulations in place.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced last month that the decision to hold county and independent fairs would be left to local leaders.

The order signed by Himes on Tuesday includes restrictions on grandstands and animal judging.

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Health says fairs should discourage people from gathering in the midway and establish one-way foot traffic to help ensure social distancing.

“While the coronavirus has made it impossible to hold fairs in the way we have in the past, they are of such importance to communities that every effort should be made to preserve the Junior Fair competitions and exhibits,” the order said.

The Seneca County Fair will be held July 27 through August 2, the fair board announced earlier this month. Some of the grandstand events have been canceled due to the restrictions of 50% capacity.

Here are some of the restrictions outlined in Himes’ order:

Livestock competitions:

  • Participants, spectators and judges shall, when possible, maintain of 6 feet between each other
  • Because judges need to examine the animal and thus will be close to the participants, it is recommended that judges wear masks at least during that part of the judging
  • Family members of the participants shall have priority in the viewing area
  • Each family should group together in the viewing and there should be 6 feet between families
  • Microphones shall be sanitized after each person uses it


  • The number of spectators shall be limited to one half of the seated capacity
  • No grandstand evening shall have more than 2,500 seated spectators
  • A distance of 6 feet should be maintained between spectators with the exception of family members who are encouraged to sit together

You can read the full order by clicking here.

RELATED: Fair Board: 2020 Seneca County Fair will be held July 27 through August 2

RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine releases updated guidance for county fairs

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