Area teams are finally able to get back on the diamonds, fields, tracks and courts they call home, but it’s not business as usual … at least not yet.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted on Tuesday announced additional short-term guidelines to help teams get back to action safely amid the global, COVID-19 pandemic.
He didn’t stop there, either, as he also announced an awareness campaign — using the hashtag #IWantASeason — to encourage athletes, teams and fans to continue to take coronavirus precautions seriously.
“One of the things I’ve missed the most over the past few months is playing and watching sports,” Husted said. “Sports are more than just a game – it’s where we learn teamwork, grit, and how to compete, and I know millions of people are eagerly anticipating the return to play.”
The guidance came in the form of a Director’s Order issued by the Ohio Department of Health. Competitive games and tournaments are now permitted for contact sports, at least until next Tuesday.
The order emphasized the same things previous ones did, stating the responsibility is with all Ohioans to continue exercising safe practices — like wearing a mask, washing hands and social distancing when possible — to slow the spread.
“Right now, there is one competitor we must defeat if we want to return to play, and that’s the spread of the coronavirus,” Husted said. “One of the many reasons that I continue to practice social distancing and am wearing a mask in public is because I want a season, too.”
In recent weeks, the median age of coronavirus patients has reduced significantly, indicating that younger Ohioans may be relaxing the habits that help slow the spread. This order, and the corresponding social-media campaign, attempts to remind younger Ohioans that they have at least one more reason to help stop the spread of the coronavirus: Because they want to have a season.