Coronavirus fears cancel ag events, programs in Ohio and Pennsylvania

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tom wolf coronavirus press conference
Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine provided an update March 12 on the state’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts. (Pennsylvania Governor's Office)

The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. prompted a number of activities, events and programs to be suspended or canceled. This story will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

OHIO

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced March 9 that three people from Cuyahoga County tested positive for COVID-19. As of March 16, there were 37 confirmed cases in Ohio and 361 people under investigation.

Statewide

The Ohio Department of Health signed an order March 12 banning mass gatherings of 100 or more people. That includes parades, fairs, festivals, conferences and sporting events.The order is in effect until DeWine rescinds it.

Next, DeWine ordered all K-12 schools to close, from March 17 to April 3, although the closure could extend beyond that. DeWine was the first governor in the nation to close schools statewide.

On March 15, the Ohio Department of Health issued an order that all bars and restaurants were to close to in-house customers at 9 p.m.. Establishments with take-out or delivery options could stay open for those services.

  • Ohio State University announced March 12 that it suspended face-to-face classes for the rest of the spring semester. Spring break was extended to March 22 and virtual learning is set to begin March 23.

Local 

  • The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association canceled the Ohio Beef Expo, which was scheduled for March 19-22 in Columbus.
  • The East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference, set for March 19 in Massillon, was canceled.
  • The Northeastern Ohio Forestry Association canceled its March 19 meeting. That meeting is rescheduled for May 15. The association is considering what to do about its planned April 24 banquet.
  • The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District board meeting, scheduled for March 19, is canceled.
  • The screening of the film SILO scheduled for March 30 at Quaker Cinema, in New Philadelphia, is canceled. It will be rescheduled for a date later this year.
  • The Damascus Ruritan is postponing its swiss steak dinner that was planned for March 21.
  • The McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton and  Campus Martius Museum in Marietta are both closed until further notice.
  • The Arms Family Museum and Tyler History Center in Youngstown are closed through April 3.
  • The Upton Association canceled its April 1 program.
  • The Wilderness Center’s Interpretive Building, in Wilmot, will be closed until April 15.
  • The Sutliff Museum, in Warren, will be closed through April 7.

The Ohio Department of Health opened a call center to answer questions regarding coronavirus. The center will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. It can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

PENNSYLVANIA

The first two cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania were confirmed March 6 in Wayne and Delaware counties. As of March 16, there were 76 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 670 people tested negative.

Statewide

Pennsylvania did not ban large gatherings, but on March 12, Gov. Tom Wolf strongly encouraged the suspension of events of 250 people or more. The Wolf administration also asked people to refrain from non-essential travel and discouraged people from going to recreational activities.

Wolf announced March 13 that all public K-12 schools will be closed for at least two weeks starting March 16. The closure may last longer

On March 15, Wolf ordered restaurants and bars in the five counties most affected by COVID-19 to end dine-in services for two weeks. 

The next day, March 16, Wolf ordered all nonessential businesses statewide to close, including restaurants, bars, movie theaters, casinos and senior centers, for at least two weeks. The closures are not mandated. They’re to be self-enforced.

  • Pennsylvania 4-H suspended all 4-H events, activities and club meetings on March 12 until further notice.
  • Penn State Extension canceled all public, in-person events it sponsors through April 5. That includes workshops, conferences and meetings. Some of them may be rescheduled for a later date or moved online.
  • Penn State University announced March 11 that classes would take place remotely from March 16 to April 3. In-person classes may resume April 6. 
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced March 13 that all public events scheduled for March at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex would be canceled. That includes the remainder of events Keystone Truck and Tractor Pull.

Local

  • The Annual Lawrence County 4-H Benefit Auction that was scheduled for March 21 has been postponed.

 

WEST VIRGINIA

No cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in West Virginia, although 80 have been tested for it.

Gov. Jim Justice announced March 13 that he was closing schools, starting March 16. Schools will be closed indefinitely.

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