Gov. DeWine scrambles to shut down Ohio primary elections

Mar 17, 2020 | Featured | 0 comments

NOTE: For daily briefings on COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus, visit the Ohio Department of Health online at or

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced late Monday polls were to be closed on Tuesday for the presidential primary election, citing a “health emergency” tied to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. DeWine’s statement was issued Monday at 10:12 p.m.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Monday evening, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard A. Frye denied the request. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued guidance to county elections officials saying the primary election has been suspended until June 2.

Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton defied the judge’s ruling and directed election officials to postpone Election Day because of the health emergency caused by coronavirus.

President Donald Trump on Monday urged Americans to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more. Trump warned that the coronavirus may not subside until the summer, admitting for the first time that the situation is “bad,” a stark reversal from his previous calm.

The Board of Ottawa County Commissioners request the public limit unnecessary visits to county offices.

Gatherings of more than 50 people in Ohio have been banned. That does not include grocery stores, mass transit, malls or athletic events that exclude spectators.Regulations were being planned to stop all visitation at Ohio nursing homes and state psychiatric hospitals. Check before you visit.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has indefinitely postponed OHSAA Regional and State Boys Basketball, State Girls Basketball, State Ice Hockey and State Individual Wrestling Tournaments.

All professional sports have been put on hold, including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball training camps, National Hockey Association, Professional Golf Association tournaments (until Masters), XFL and Men’s Pro Tennis Tour (until April 20).

Major League Baseball pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest. Spring games have been cancelled at Michigan, Notre Dame and The Ohio State University.

Nursing home visitors will not be allowed at all Ohio nursing homes until further notice.

Charter is offering free broadband and wi-fi access for 60 days for new K-12 and college student households. Call 1-844-488-8395 for information. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

Columbia Gas of Ohio has suspended shutoffs for nonpayment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Accounts can be handled online at or at 1-800-344-4077.

This week’s closures and postponements

All Ohio local school districts K-12 classes are shut down through April 3, including after school events and extracurricular activities. Gov. DeWine has predicted the school shutdowns might have to be extended until the end of the school year.

Grab and go breakfasts and lunches are available at Ottawa County schools, with some deliveries available.

Ottawa County Senior Resources has closed its Danbury, Elmore, Genoa, Port Clinton and Oak Harbor senior centers through April 3. All Senior Centers will offer “grab and go” meals that can be picked up between 11:30 a.m. and noon at drive-up areas at the senior centers.

Reserve “grab and go” meals before 10 a.m. by calling 419-898-6459. Home delivered meals are being delivered weekdays. All Senior Centers will be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned prior to reopening.

All county tourism offices around Ohio were closed on Monday. Lake Erie Shores & Islands will close its welcome centers at 216 East Water St., in Sandusky, and 770 SE Catawba Rd., in Port Clinton. The LES&I team will be available by phone, email and live chat. Port Clinton Welcome Center: 800-441-1271. Sandusky Welcome Center: 800-255-3743. Email: Chat:

The remaining Saint Joseph/Marblehead Knights of Columbus Fish Fries have been canceled.

The Woodmore Board of Education has changed the date of its regular March meeting from Thursday, March 19 to Thursday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

All Port Clinton School District sports and youth activities are canceled until further notice. Bataan Memorial playground is closed until further notice.

The Erie Islands Library, Put-in-Bay, will be closed through April 5.

Ida Rupp Public Library, Port Clinton, and the Marblehead Peninsula Branch Library, Marblehead, will be closed through April 5.

The Ottawa County Republican Party has postponed its annual Lincoln Day Dinner on March 19 at Catawba Island Club, Port Clinton. It has been tentatively rescheduled for June 12.

The Lakeside Chautauqua Board of Directors has canceled the Community Potluck with Otterbein Senior Living on March 19.

‘Maiden Voyage of Onward’ video documentary on March 19 at Port Clinton Council Chambers, Port Clinton City Hall, has been postponed.

The Civilian Marksmanship JROTC Championships on March 19-21 at Camp Perry, Port Clinton have been canceled.

The Ottawa County Agricultural Community Breakfast on March 20 at St. John Lutheran Church, Oak Harbor has been canceled. The Ottawa SWCD will announce scholarship awards.

The 34th annual “Escape to Margaritaville” auction on March 21 at Immaculate Conception School has been postponed.

The Humane Society of Ottawa County fundraising breakfast on March 21 at the Oliver Perry Masonic Lodge, Port Clinton has been canceled.

The Musical Arts Series Gavin George Concert on March 22 at Firelands Presbyterian Church, Port Clinton, has been postponed.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program 3-P Regional Airgun Championship on March 26-28 at Camp Perry, Port Clinton, has been canceled.

The Ottawa County Museum in Port Clinton is closed until further notice.

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