Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio's professional sports teams could allow up to 30% of fans in stadiums this spring under a forthcoming pandemic-related plan.
The governor said Monday that the expanded fan capacity would apply to the Columbus Clippers, Columbus Crew, Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds, as well as the state's other minor baseball teams and major league soccer clubs.
The plan does not include indoor venues like Nationwide Arena, home to the Columbus Blue Jackets, although the Blue Jackets have received approval to have nearly 2,000 fans at home games starting March 2.
DeWine said Ohioans who are planning now for spring events, including proms and weddings, should feel confident things will be better this year compared to 2020. But he warned that coronavirus variants could affect the situation.
"If it ramps up and is much more contagious, we could be in a very different and much worse situation in May, June or July or whenever these events are coming up, so we’ll give guidance, but there’s a big asterick," DeWine said.
DeWine said the vaccine supply should be increasing in March, thereby making it more likely that he can expand eligibility for shots. DeWine says the age group won’t be expanded to include 60 to 65-year-olds yet, but he says that will likely happen in weeks.
He says he’s optimistic because the shots that have been going to school employees in February will now go to the rest of the 1B group. He also says it's good news that the Johnson & Johnson vaccines might be available soon as well.
“More is coming, and March is going to be a better month than February as far as availability of vaccine," DeWine says.
The governor says age is the biggest factor in COVID mortality, so it will be used to decide who is eligible for the vaccine. But he says other groups at higher risk could also be added soon as well.
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