Close to 50 protesters held a “Lighted Dance Party” on the street in front of Gov. Mike DeWine’s Cedarville mansion last night. There was chanting, dancing, honking and almost nobody was wearing a mask. A number of state highway patrol vehicles, and other security, watched the protest from a distance. It was not clear if Governor DeWine was at home during the event.
The protest was in response to a new Ohio Department of Health order that limits mass gatherings. The state’s new rules target weddings, funeral receptions and other events where people gather together. The restrictions include bans against socializing in open areas, no self-serve buffets, and no dancing.
Audrey Caeton drove three hours to the protest from Woodsfield, Ohio. Caeton owns a dog grooming business. She says that Governor DeWine’s COVID-19 restrictions almost caused her business to close.
“We’re just here to tell DeWine that we are not okay with the tyrannical rules that he is still trying to implement on us." She said, "I’m a small business owner myself and I’ve almost gone under.”
Since Saturday, there were over 40 COVID deaths reported in Ohio. And the state surpassed over 300 thousand total recorded cases of COVID 19.
Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.