Ohio Public Schools, Colleges Cannot Require COVID-19 Vaccine

Young girl wearing a mask and reading a book in school

Ohio public schools, colleges and universities cannot require COVID-19 vaccines after Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill that originally was introduced to help military families.

The Ohio Senate amended House Bill 244, which passed in late June along party lines, to prohibit public schools from requiring any vaccine not fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and from discriminating against unvaccinated individuals. The FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines on an emergency basis.

The bill also allows military families moving into Ohio to enroll their children in school virtually or through advanced enrollments before they move into the state.

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DeWine Signs Bill Banning Ohio Public Colleges from Forcing Student Vaccinations

Gov. Mike DeWine (R) Thursday signed HB 244 into law, a bill that disallows schools and universities from forcing their students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Until the three COVID-19 vaccines, developed by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer, respectively, receive full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that law will stand, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. 

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Vetoes Bill That Would Have Allowed Ohioans to Shoot Off Fireworks on Certain Holidays

Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill Friday that would have permitted Ohioans to legally shoot off fireworks on several holidays.

When Senate Bill (SB) 113 was introduced by Ohio State Senators Michael Rulli (R-Salem) and Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), the bill wanted to allow Americans to celebrate certain holidays legally, according to the Rulli press release.

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Renacci Likens DeWine to Democrat Governors Cuomo, Newsom in Latest Campaign Ad

GOP gubernatorial contender Jim Renacci has stepped up his campaign against incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine in a social media ad likening the governor’s language and actions during the COVID-19 pandemic to prominent Democrat governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsome of California.

The Renacci for Governor campaign’s 30-second ad this week calls DeWine “Democrat DeWine” for the way the incumbent handled the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

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In Addition to the National Guard, DeWine Sending Ohio State Troopers to the Border

Border surge

Governor Mike DeWine announced on Monday that he will send Ohio State Troopers to the southern border, fulfilling the request of Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The law enforcement officers will spend two weeks in the border state in an attempt to assist with curbing the current increase in illegal immigration.

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Ohio Law Codifies Doctors’ Rights to Refuse Service

A provision Ohio’s latest budget bill, which was recently passed, gives doctors the right to refuse service to potential patients on religious and moral grounds.

“This simply puts in statute what the practice has been anyways,” Gov. Mike DeWine (R) reportedly said. “Let’s say the doctor is against abortion, the doctor is not doing abortion. If there’s other things that maybe a doctor has a conscience problem with, it gets worked out, somebody else does those things.”

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to Send National Guard to Help with Border Crisis

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine will send 185 National Guard troops to the U.S. Southern border in an attempt to curb the dramatic increase in illegal immigration.

The members of the National Guard will assist border patrol agents in a non-law enforcement capacity during their time there.

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Ohio House Passes Bill Banning Transgender Student Athletes from Women’s Sports

Girl up to bat, swinging her bat at a softball game.

The Ohio House of Representatives passed an amendment, known as the Save Women’s Sports Act, which will ban transgender athletes from joining female teams in both high school and college sports.

Many Republicans celebrated the move and argued the amendment will protect the integrity of women’s sports throughout the state. 

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DeWine to Skip Ohio Trump Rally

As former President Donald J. Trump prepares for a highly-anticipated rally in Ohio this weekend, the state’s top two politicians announced that they will not be in attendance. 

According to several reports, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has ““has previously scheduled family commitments” that disallow him from attending. Lt. Gov. John Husted (R) will also not attend. He has not given a reason for missing the event.

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DeWine Speaks Out Against Bill to Ban Vaccine Passports

Gov. Mike DeWine (R) will not support a bill that would essentially ban vaccine passports from the state of Ohio. 

H.R. 248, called the “Vaccine Choice and Anti-discrimination Act,” would allow Ohioans to choose not to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and would allow parents to decide whether their children should take it. It would prevent the state or businesses from discriminating against those who have not taken the vaccine. 

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Majority of Ohio COVID Restrictions Set to End

Many of the restrictions put in place throughout Ohio in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will expire at midnight on Tuesday. Governor Mike DeWine has stated he will not renew the regulations.

However, DeWine has left the door open for some regulations to remain in place in certain settings. Gov. DeWine announced that the decisions to require masks and limit the total capacity of the number of guests or customers will be left up to individual businesses and other organizations.

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Parscale: Ohio Poll Shows Renacci Pummeling DeWine

According to Brad Parscale, the ex-campaign manager to former President Donald J. Trump, at least one poll has Republican and Trump loyalist, former Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH-16), significantly ahead of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R).

Renacci has not officially declared a run for Governor, but Parscale is reported to be advising him. 

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Ohio Democrats Propose New Gun Control Legislation

Mike DeWine

Ohio Democrats continue to criticize the state’s new stand your ground law and unveiled a package of gun control legislation Monday that goes further than a proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine that has seen no movement in nearly two years.

Monday’s call comes 20 months since a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, and less than a week after another one in Indianapolis. It also comes nearly two weeks after a law that removes the duty to retreat from Ohioans to defend themselves with deadly force went into effect.

“Ohioans have spoken loudly and clearly that we need to do something to end gun violence. Democrats are listening to you, the people of Ohio who overwhelmingly support commonsense solutions to keep our kids and communities safe,” House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, said Monday at a news conference. “In the 20 months since Dayton, shootings have gone up, not down. We need reform now to ensure the promise of safety and security for all Ohioans.”

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Ohio ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Takes Effect Tuesday

State Senator Tim Schaffer

Senate Bill 175, which removes the duty to retreat in the event of a physical attack against a person or residence, will go into effect Tuesday. 

“For purposes of determining the potential liability of a person in a tort action related to the person’s use of force alleged to be in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of the person’s residence, the person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence,” the text of the bill says. 

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Planned Parenthood Sues Ohio over Telehealth Abortion Law

A pro-abortion group is taking the state of Ohio to court over a law that limits telehealth abortions, according to Thursday reports. 

“Planned Parenthood Federation of America and two of its Ohio affiliates on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Health and prosecutors in Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties to stop enforcement of a state ban on telemedicine abortion that was signed into law earlier this year,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. 

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FEMA to Run Mass COVID Vaccination Clinic in Cleveland

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is set to dole out thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Cleveland, according to Friday reports.

“A mass coronavirus vaccination center will open on March 17 at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, with the capability to vaccinate 6,000 people a day,” Cleveland.com reported. 

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U.S. Rep Warren Davidson May Challenge DeWine for Governor’s Office

Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH-08) said Saturday he is looking closely at either a run for the U.S. Senate or a bid for the Ohio Governor’s chair in ’22.

“I have considered the Ohio Senate, you know, senator for the state of Ohio. I was surprised that Senator Portman wasn’t running.  And, look, it’s flattering to have my name come up in that race and frankly, in the governor’s race. So we’re taking a hard look at our options,” Davidson told FoxNews.

The Ohio Star interviewed one of Davidson’s top aides on Monday who confirmed the Congressman is looking at both races “he’s definitely looking at it; quite a few people have reached out and urged him to ‘please take a look at it,’ so he is.”

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Harlan Hill Commentary: With ‘Republicans’ Like Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Who Needs Democrats?

by Harlan Hill   Due to their Republican leadership, many great states like Florida are open for business while successfully managing and mitigating the COVID-19 crisis. The same cannot be said for Ohio: you’d be forgiven for mistaking its leadership as Liberal. Ohio is not open, as its Republican-in-name-only Governor…

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AG Yost Reaches Nearly $25 Million Settlement with McKinsey for Role in Ohio’s Opioid Crisis

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has agreed to a settlement of nearly $25 million in a case with McKinsey & Co. for the company’s role in fueling and profiting from the opioid crisis in the state. 

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Gov. DeWine Can’t Say When Most Ohioans Can Expect to be Vaccinated

The pace of coronavirus vaccinations is accelerating in Ohio, but Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday said it was still too early to say when non-priority Ohioans can expect to get a shot in the arm.

There was good news on the vaccine front, DeWine said during one of his regular coronavirus press conferences.

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Cleveland.com Praises DeWine Fundraising ‘Haul,’ Forgets About Campaign Debt

At the end of January, Cleveland.com praised Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) for a “record fundraising haul,” but buried an important part of the story in the process.

“As of Friday, DeWine’s campaign reported having more than $3.6 million in the bank after receiving more than $1.6 million since July 9, 2020, according to a filing with the Ohio secretary of state’s office,” the site said in a January 29 report, which was updated on January 31.

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Ohio Governor Orders Millions More in Cuts to State Agencies

Saying immediate actions are necessary to keep the state’s budget balanced, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to state agencies.

“In the springtime, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, and Ohio’s revenue, was dire. With this, reductions were made to the state biennial budget,” DeWine said. “With this executive order, we are finalizing current year budget reductions at $390 million across all agencies, which is less than the cuts implemented last year.”

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Ohio Businesses No Longer Need Voter Approval for Sunday Alcohol Sales

Ohio businesses no longer have to ask voters to be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays. Now, they only need the General Assembly’s permission.

Thanks to a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine, businesses can get the ok from the state legislature for Sunday sales, and Friday and Saturday alcohol sales can continue until 4 a.m. the next day with a specific liquor permit.

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Ohio Moves Up School Employees for Vaccines to Get Students Back in Classrooms

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to offer vaccines to all schools in the state that want it by mid-January in an effort to get children back to in-person learning in districts that want to return.

At his regular news conference Wednesday, DeWine announced new phases of vaccine distribution that included adults in school districts, those 64 years old and older, along with those with severe medical conditions.

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New Ohio ‘Stand Your Ground’ Bill Heads to Governor for Signature

If Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signs a new bill into law, Ohioans will no longer be required to retreat first before using deadly force to defend themselves. Where they can defend themselves with deadly force would also expand.

DeWine, who has repeatedly over the past year asked the legislature to pass several pieces of his gun legislation, has not indicted if he would sign the bill.

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First Vaccines Arrive in Ohio, Gov. DeWine Announces

Vaccines for the novel coronavirus have arrived and are being administered in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Monday.

The vaccine was first delivered to the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, where it was administered to healthcare workers. It was also delivered to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Each hospital received 975 doses.

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Gov. DeWine Hints at Extended Coronavirus Curfew

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Monday press conference that the curfew currently placed on the state will need to be extended, although he did not reveal more details. 

DeWine imposed a 21-day curfew on Ohio from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. running from November 19 to December 10. The curfew was meant as a “slow down” aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus and applied to retail and indoor seating at restaurants. The curfew exempted businesses like restaurants operating on take-out only, pharmacies and grocery stores.

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Ohio State Representative Cross Records His Hometown at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday

In a video that ends with a plea from Ohio State Representative Jon Cross (R-Kenton) to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Cross asks for Ohio to be opened and his district to be relieved from measures that are choking out businesses and workers.

Cross represents Ohio’s 83rd District, comprised of Findlay, Kenton and an area with over 119,000 Ohioans.

“This is not an attack on the Governor. This is my artistic way of drawing attention to the situation.”

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Group Warns Second Ohio Shutdown Could be Devastating

A second business shutdown in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus would be more harmful than helpful, according to a Central Ohio think tank.

The Buckeye Institute, responding to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s new orders as record COVID-19 cases cover the state, believes persuading businesses, rather than penalizing them, would be more beneficial.

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DeWine Says He Does Not Want Second Lockdown, Calls for ‘Slow Down’

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a press conference on Monday that he is not planning to impose a second full lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, instead calling for a “slow down” in the state.

Ohio is currently seeing thousands of new cases of COVID-19 each day, with nearly 8,000 new cases added on Monday, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

“Instead of shutting down, we have to slow down,” DeWine said at a conference from the Tri-State Airport in West Virginia, according to Fox8. “We have to slow down in our individual lives and our decisions in what we are doing.”

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In an Open Letter to Ohioans, Gov DeWine Calls for ‘Unity’ and for a Renewed Commitment to Fight the Coronavirus

Two days before the Election Day 2020, Governor Mike DeWine delivered an open letter to Ohioans. In it, he called for unity and for the people of the Buckeye State to renew their commitment to “fight the coronavirus.”

“On this Sunday before Election Day, I encourage you to vote if you have not already done so. Exercise and enjoy this sacred right that we, as Americans, hold so dear,” the letter begins.

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Ohio Governor Says Guard Will be Ready If Asked on Election Day

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine did not hesitate when asked if the Ohio National Guard would be used on election day to help keep the peace. Troops will provide support, although DeWine hopes a need doesn’t arise.

Speaking this week at a news conference to announce $5 billion of help for businesses across the state during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, DeWine said guard troops could be used in the same roles as during summer protests in some cities, as support for local law enforcement.

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Ohio Announces Pandemic Grants, Governor Denounces Threats

Small businesses, bars and restaurants, low-income renters, arts groups, and colleges and universities are among those eligible for $429 million in federal pandemic dollars being released by the state next week, Gov. Mike DeWine and his fellow Republican legislative leaders announced Friday.

The aid package, which the governor has promised for several weeks, is scheduled to go before a bipartisan state legislative spending panel Monday. Its passage is assured with the backing of House Speaker Bob Cupp and Senate President Larry Obhof, who joined the governor at Friday’s virtual news conference.

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Gov. DeWine Discusses Ohio COVID Updates

Governor Mike DeWine discussed programs Wednesday aimed at helping Ohio deal with COVID.

In an emailed press release, DeWine’s office announced the creation of a new demographic dashboard which will allow those interested to break down COVID cases by race and ethnicity, as well as age and county. DeWine said the “dashboard will help better track health inequities and disparities” and that “this data will also help put critical decisions into context for policymakers.”

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Gov. DeWine Did a Number of Things to Address COVID-19 This Week

Governor Mike DeWine’s office released a review of the state’s COVID-19 status and response as well as a list of actions taken by the state.

The governor updated this week’s coronavirus numbers, which saw 69 counties remain at their current level of exposure, and Preble County being downgraded from a level 3 to a level 2. In other COVID-19 news, the state has it’s own dashboard for COVID tracking of children and schools in conjunction with the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and local health departments.

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Governor DeWine Asks Trump to Base Space Force in Ohio

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine sent a letter to President Donald Trump Thursday asking that the new Space Force headquarters be located in Dayton.

“We are proud that Ohio is the birthplace, home, and future of aerospace,” Dewine stated, noting that “Ohio possesses a strong track record in populating science-rich jobs with a superior workforce.”

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Data Show 40 Percent of Ohio Counties Experience Rise in Coronavirus Cases 7 Weeks After Mask Mandate Despite Claims by DeWine, CDC

Has Ohio’s statewide mask mandate affected the coronavirus case counts in counties? Data show 40 percent of counties saw a net increase during a 21-day period, despite claims by Gov. Mike DeWine and the CDC.

The Ohio Star examined the state health department’s historic case counts. The summary data is available in a CSV file from a link on the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard here.

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Sunday COVID Numbers Show Downward Trends

Ohio’s COVID numbers were updated yesterday, revealing a downward trend across the major COVID indicators.

778 cases of COVID were reported Sunday, which is well below the 21 day reported average of 1061 cases. Deaths and hospitalizations are also down, with a drop from an average of 21 to 17 deaths yesterday, and 29 fewer people being hospitalized than the average of 75. 

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Ohio to Test Wastewater for COVID-19

In an effort to get ahead of COVID-19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state would begin testing wastewater at a network of water treatment plants across the state.

Information from the new Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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Ohio Leaders Play Both Sides of Mask Debate

Ohio’s reported coronavirus cases and hospitalizations dropped significantly on Sunday from the 21-day average.

The Ohio Department of Health on Sunday reported 773 more coronavirus infections, increasing the number of cases to 130,558. That is below the 21-day average of 1,061 newly reported cases a day.

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DeWine Administration Lays out Its Work Over the Past Week, from Providing Kids with Books to Implementing School Virus Reporting Requirements

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his administration provided a “Week in Review” for the past week, with actions ranging from providing free books to kids to requiring schools to report coronavirus cases to local health departments.

The week started off Monday with DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announcing assistance for five projects to create 574 new jobs and retain 1,058 jobs statewide. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $23 million in new payroll and spur more than $68 million in investments across Ohio.

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Governor DeWine’s Tuesday Press Briefing Addresses Labor Day Weekend Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic, High-Speed Internet Grants for Students

Governor Mike DeWine’s recent press conference touched on a number of issues facing Ohio and possible fixes. 

In the Tuesday briefing, DeWine reminded citizens to take the proper safety precautions for Labor Day weekend. DeWine reported that Ohio had the “highest number of new cases since the end of July,” which he called a “stark reminder that this virus has not gone away and it continues to spread in our communities.”

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Ohio to Lift Restrictions on Senior Care Facilities

The Ohio Health Department lifted its restrictions Monday on adult daycare and senior centers.

The facilities were shut down in March as a result of the pandemic. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said at the time, “Our senior citizen’s centers provide very important support, these centers will close.” DeWine lamented the decision calling senior citizen centers the “heart of the community.”

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Ohio Representative Jena Powell: ‘Ohioans Deserve Better Than They Are Getting Now’

Representative Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) is a freshman legislator from Ohio’s 80th District with the tenacity of a rookie and the strategic thinking of a veteran. During a Friday afternoon phone call with The Ohio Star, Powell said “everyone can speak on things, but it takes a plan to get there. I am not the kind of person that says ‘open Ohio’ and doesn’t have a plan – you have to have a plan to get to the endpoint.”

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Ohio Sports Are a Go, Will Have Restrictions.

Ohio will be allowing all sports this fall.

Governor Mike Dewine said in a press conference Tuesday that sports instill “discipline, brings order, structure in the lives of student-athletes, and certainly brings joy to those athletes and certainly to their families as well.” Other concerns mentioned were the mental health of students not allowed to play sports, and the importance of a final season for many student-athletes graduating next year.

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Gov. Mike DeWine Permits Sports This Fall

Governor Mike DeWine announced all sports will be allowed this fall, as long as teams meet guidelines laid out by Ohio High School Athletic Association and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

The governor said in a press conference Tuesday that his office would release the specific health guidelines soon. Guidelines will include social distancing restrictions, limiting the number of spectators allowed in stadiums, and having health inspectors enforce the rules.

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