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Concern about the spread of COVID-19 has come to Central Ohio, as area organizations and sports teams are starting to suspend events and cancel programs.

All bars and restaurants in Ohio will be ordered close to at 9 p.m. March 15. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made the announcement during a March 15 news conference. Restaurants will remain open for carry-out and delivery.

Epstein Memorial Chapel

Epstein Memorial Chapel in Columbus will only conduct graveside services, and only immediate family members may attend. If families choose, the services can be livestreamed so other family members and friends may attend virtually.


JewishColumbus has suspended all JewishColumbus-sponsored community events and programs and is closing the office at the end of business March 12 until further notice, according to an email sent March 12.

The email, signed by JewishColumbus CEO Joel Marcovitch and Justin Shaw, director of Jewish community relations, said JewishColumbus has instructed its staff to move all in-person meetings to conference calls and work remotely.

“Due to COVID-19’s rapid progression and yesterday’s upgrade to pandemic, we are now following expert recommendations that urge social distancing as one of the best ways we can avoid spreading the virus,” the email stated.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus

The JCC of Greater Columbus will be closed as of 5 p.m. March 15 and will plan to reopen on April 5, according to an email sent to members by board president Rick Meizlish and CEO Mike Klapper on March 15.

The Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center

In a March 12 email to the community, Rabbi Areyah and Esther Kaltmann said there will be no Hebrew School at The Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center from March 15 until local schools re-open, but minyan services and Saturday morning women’s class will be held under strict guidelines.

The Chabad Center is opening its mitzvah meal program to any member of the community who needs a meal. The program typically provides services solely to hospital patients. To participate, call 614-570-9436.

Looking ahead to Passover, Kaltmann also said the Chabad Center will provide seder kits for anyone who cannot attend a Passover celebration due to health concerns.

Congregation Tifereth Israel

According to a March 12 email, Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus will be conducting services March 13 and March 14 via Zoom livestreaming at; starting March 15, all weekday morning and evening minyanim will also be conducted through Zoom. To dial into the March 13 Shabbat service using a phone, call 1-929-205-6099 with meeting ID 833 092 096.

All in-person religious school, Hebrew high school, youth and Boker Tov programs are canceled through April 1. The congregation’s offices will be closed the week of March 16, and staff members will work from home; they will still be available by email and phone.

Congregation Torat Emet

Rabbi Howard Zack and Michael Blumenfeld, president of Congregation Torat Emet in Bexley, sent a March 12 email to members canceling the synagogue’s March 26 Main Event Dinner and Concert with musician Shulem Lemmer, as well as two scholar-in-residence programs scheduled in March.

As of March 12, the congregation will continue minyan services under strict guidelines and will cancel them if the outbreak intensifies.

Kehilat Sukkat Shalom

In a March 12 email, leaders of Kehilat Sukkat Shalom said adult Shabbat services the weekend of March 13 will be held via video or conference call, and youth Shabbat services will be modified. For more information, visit

Congregation Beth Tikvah

In an email sent March 12, leaders of Congregation Beth Tikvah in Worthington announced Shabbat services on March 13 and March 20 will be livestreamed at

Religious school, Hebrew classes and the teen program on March 15 is canceled. Rabbi Huber’s Tuesday night classes on March 17 and March 24 are canceled. Morissa’s Thursday morning adult Hebrew classes will move to Zoom, and she will share that information with students.

The following events are canceled: Shabbat Shaboom on March 13; Shabbat playdate on March 14, Sunday night study group on March 15 and Tikvah Tots on March 20.

The following events are postponed and will be rescheduled: BethTy’s AR workshop on March 14 and Chalutzim bowling on March 21. The Resler scholar-in-residence weekend has been rescheduled to Nov. 6 and 7.

Temple Beth Shalom

The leaders of Temple Beth Shalom in New Albany sent a March 13 email to encourage congregants to watch Friday night services March 13 on the temple’s website at or on Facebook Live at

Saturday morning services on March 14 will be conducted via a Zoom meeting. Email Rabbi Benjy Bar-Lev at

Temple Beth Shalom in New Albany will transition Friday Night Services to be held online only at Saturday morning text study will happen online via Zoom. Big programs such as Mitzvah Day, Lunch Bunch, Lunch and Learn, affinity groups and other adult education are postponed at least until the end of March. Lifecycle events will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Pastoral visits in the hospital, assisted living facilities and nursing homes will be done via FaceTime, phone calls and texts. 

Gallery Players of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus

In accordance with the directive from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to not allow large gatherings, the Gallery Players is suspending performances, events and rehearsals until further notice.

According to a March 12 email, ticket holders for “She Loves Me” may move tickets to a future show, retain a credit for future shows or receive a full refund. Email Giselle Siegel at to pursue one of these options or to donate the cost of your ticket to the theater program.

The theater will provide updates on future productions of Jewish Theater Lab and “Amadeus” later in March.


In compliance with Gov. Mike DeWine's executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people, CAPA has suspended all events and performances scheduled at the Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre, Lincoln Theatre, McCoy Center for the Arts, and Riffe Center Theatre Complex through at least April 5, according to a news release.

CAPA said in the release it has begun conversations with all local resident arts groups, touring artists renting a CAPA venue, and CAPA-presented touring artists with performances scheduled to determine if events can be rescheduled to a future date or will be canceled. Current updates will be posted on and

Columbus Museum of Art and Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art

According to a March 13 news release from The Columbus Museum of Art, the museum and the Pizzuti Collection is closing for three weeks, starting at the end of business March 14, in alignment with official health and government recommendations.

For updates, visit

Columbus International Auto Show

The 2020 Columbus International Auto Show has been canceled, following Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's executive order prohibiting mass gatherings of more than 100 people. Zach Doran, the executive vice president of the Columbus Automobile Dealers Association, made the announcement March 12.

The Auto Show Charity Gala planned for March 20 has been postponed and will be rescheduled.

Doran said CADA will reach out to vendors, exhibitors and other third parties with additional information.

Columbus Crew

In a March 12 tweet, Major League Soccer said it is suspending “match play for 30 days, effective immediately, as the league continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 with its medical task force and public health officials.”

MLS said the league and clubs will keep fans updated about plans for the rest of the 2020 season and the status of league events.

The Columbus Crew was scheduled to play Real Salt Lake March 14 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The National Hockey League commissioner announced March 12 that the league will pause the 2019-20 season beginning with tonight's games.

The Columbus Blue Jackets were scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena on March 12 without fans in attendance.


The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced in a March 12 news release that all remaining winter tournaments were immediately postponed due to COVID-19.

The suspended tournaments include the girls state basketball tournament; the state individual wrestling tournament; the state ice hockey tournament, and the boys regional and state basketball tournaments, according to the release.

“We will use this time to work with the appropriate state authorities and health experts to determine our next steps moving forward,” OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said in the release. “We realize this is disappointing for our participants and their fans, but the overall health and safety of everyone involved in our tournaments is our priority.”

No timetable has been determined for possible rescheduling for the tournaments. 

Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament

The Big Ten Conference announced in a March 12 news release the remainder of the men’s basketball tournament would be canceled, effective immediately.

Ohio State Athletics

The Ohio State Department of Athletics announced March 11 the Ohio State spring football game, set for April 11 at Ohio Stadium, has been canceled.

Attendance at other intercollegiate athletic sporting events for the remainder of the school year will be limited to student-athletes and their immediate family members, team coaches and staff, essential event management, operational and facility staff, and credentialed members of the media. All events will be closed to the public.

According to the news release, tickets purchased online or via phone will be automatically refunded within five to seven business days; tickets purchased in person can be returned to the point of purchase for a full refund.

Mid-American Conference Basketball Tournaments

The Mid-American Conference announced in a March 12 tweet that the remainder of the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments is canceled. The tournament was held at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, home of the NBA’s Cavaliers. 


The MLB announced March 12 that spring training games would be canceled and Opening Day would be delayed at least two weeks. 

"Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans," read a statement from the league. "MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus."

This story will be updated.

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