This week’s COVID-19 news, views, updates 5-14-20

May 14, 2020 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

AS BUSINESSES OPEN, WHAT ABOUT SCHOOLS?

Gov. Mike DeWine cancelled in-person classes through the end of this school year, requiring teachers to educate students with online instruction and take-home packets. The kids could be back in school as early as August, he said, but K-12 schools will not resemble what the students left behind on March 16.

The Ohio Department of Education has a working group looking at a variety of options for keeping students apart to limit the spread of COVID-19. One scenario would have students attend classes in person for two days, then another group would attend in-person classes on two different days.

“I’m not saying that’s where we end up,” DeWine said last week. “My recommendation to schools is to look at different options. Come up with what is unique (to your school).”

A major problem for Ohio schools is a $355 million cut to the schools’ budget as the administration tries to handle a $777 million shortfall in the state’s budget.

BEACHES, FISHING GET POSITIVE NOD FROM GOVERNOR

For the second year in a row, springtime in Ottawa County has been a bit of a bust because of cool weather. Boating and beaches, though, are extremely popular along the Lake Erie shoreline. Both were on Gov. Mike DeWine’s mind with warm weather coming.

“As we look toward the summer, more and more people will go on Lake Erie and the Ohio River. From a health point of view, we’re concerned about big gatherings of people,” DeWine said during a recent press conference.

The state’s ResponsibleRestartOhio doesn’t include policies for beaches and marinas because they were never closed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But a ban on mass gatherings and the requirement to maintain social distancing are still in place, and most likely will be for quite a while.

“People can go fishing, and they can go fishing on Lake Erie,” DeWine said. DeWine said that people should not be with groups larger than 10 outside their families and maintain a six-foot distance with other people.

LOCAL GOP POSTPONES LINCOLN DAY DINNER UNTIL SEPT. 3

The Ottawa County Republican Party will again postpone its annual Lincoln Day Dinner, said county chairman Jill Stinebaugh. The GOP is moving its Lincoln Day dinner to Thursday, Sept. 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the pavilion at the Catawba Island Club in Port Clinton.

“Our previously scheduled speakers, Captain Guy Gruters and Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, have both agreed to speak on our new date,” said Stinebaugh. “We had switched to the June 12 date because of the coronavirus pandemic, but felt the Gov. Mike DeWine would determine the gathering to be too large at this time.”

MODIFIED MEMORIAL SERVICE ON MAY 25 IN OAK HARBOR

The Oak Harbor VFW and American Legion will have a modified Memorial Day service at Veterans Circle at Union Cemetery in Oak Harbor on Monday, May 25 at 11:30 a.m. To comply with state rules during the COVID-19 pandemic, the simplified service will encourage people to remain in their vehicles or comply with social distancing standards. There will be no stands, band or speaker at the ceremony. There will be a benediction, a firing squad salute and raising of the flag at noon.

TOLEDO PRIDE FESTIVAL ON AUG. 22 PUSHED BACK TO 2021

The 11th Annual Toledo Pride, an outdoor festival celebrating Toledo’s LGBTQIA+ community on Aug. 22 has been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers are committed to its return in 2021.

Toledo Pride is currently working with local bands, drag performers, and other entertainers to host a virtual Pride event, featuring a simulcast event, a virtual parade, and a family fun day.

“Toledo Pride has been a fixture of the Northwest Ohio LGBTQIA+ community for more than a decade,” said Lexi Hayman-Staples, Toledo Pride event director. “We know how vital it is for the LGBTQIA+ community to have a safe space to gather, express themselves, and shower love on each other and this city.”

SANDUSKY COUNTY BICENTENNIAL EVENTS TO BEGIN IN AUGUST

Sandusky County Bicentennial events scheduled for May, June and July will be rescheduled to later dates due to restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The bicentennial committee plans to kick off the celebration with its August events, as long as restrictions are lifted and it is safe for the events to take place.

The bicentennial events are planned to begin Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1-2, with the State of Eight Vintage Base Ball Tournament hosted by the Spiegel Grove Squires, the vintage base ball team at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums. On Friday and Saturday, Aug. 7-8, the Black Swamp Historical Festival is at White Star Park in Gibsonburg with fireworks, live music, historical re-enactors and food trucks.

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