Child care providers in Ohio may return to their normal, statutory ratios and class sizes effective Aug. 9, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced.
Child care providers will have a choice to get a subsidy and maintain their current lower ratios, or they can go back to the normal statutory ratio.
Child care providers will still have to comply with health and safety requirements including face coverings for all staff, symptom and temperature checks, hand washing and frequent cleaning among.
There have been 442 people since the pandemic began in child care who tested positive with 306 staff members and 136 children. From contact tracing, DeWine said it was found that about a quarter of those cases from a child care setting and the rest was from community spread.
“We know that children cannot learn unless they are safe, unless they are cared for,” he said. “Without access to childcare parents might resort to less than ideal options because they have no choice for their childcare. That might rely on an elderly grandmother or grandfather who would normally everything would be fine but today they are a greater risk for COVID.”
Since initiating lower ratios, $30 million dollars in subsidies have been given to private and public child care providers monthly.
“We did that so the child care community would have sufficient dollars to be able to run the child care in the manor we felt it needed to be run with the reduced ratio,” DeWine said.
All fairs that will be starting on July 31 and after will be ordered to be junior fairs.
“It’s clear we cannot have fairs that are safe,” DeWine said of the order during a July 28 press conference.
Fair events will be limited to livestock competitions and other 4-H and FAA competitions for kids and teens.
Harness racing can proceed with no spectators.
There will be no grandstand events, no games and no carnivals. A curfew of 10 a.m. will be implemented with the exception of a show that may go later than that.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Annette Chambers-Smith tested positive for COVID-19.
He said she is currently working from home and monitoring her symptoms, which he described as mild.
DeWine said Ohio is starting to experience a decrease in coronavirus-related emergency room visits. He called the data “good news” as it can be an early indicator for how well the state is dealing with the virus.
In response to Ohio State University’s announcement to limit its stadium to 21,000 people, DeWine said it was too soon to determine what plans are safe.
“It’s OK to plan,” DeWine said. “But I don’t think we know at this point in time.”
In an interview on Good Morning America, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Ohio and other Midwest states could become hotspots like Florida and other southern states.
“The warning is headed, the warning is correct,” DeWine said.
Ohio has 86,497 total cases of COVID-19 and 3,382 total deaths, the Ohio Department of Health reported July 28.
The number of reported cases increased by 1,320 from July 27.
The total number of individuals who have been tested in Ohio is 1,394,132. The daily percent positive is 5.3%, with a seven-day moving average of 6.2%, according to data from July 26.
The individuals who have tested positive range in age from less than 1 year old to 109 years old, with a median age of 42.
The ODH reported 38 new deaths on July 28. The median age of those who have died is 80.
The ODH reports 10,425 individuals have been hospitalized, and 2,488 have been admitted to the ICU due to the coronavirus. The median age of those hospitalized is 64.
The ODH reports 61,056 individuals are presumed recovered – defined as cases with a symptom onset over 21 days prior who are not deceased.
Franklin County accounts for 16,042 of the cases, 1,370 hospitalizations and 496 deaths.
This is a developing story.
If you have questions regarding COVID-19, call 833-4ASKODH (833-427-5634) or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.