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Lt. Gov. Husted Announces Short-Term “Return to Play” Guidelines for Sports, Launches Campaign to Engage Young Ohioans

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced additional, short-term guidelines to help sports teams continue their efforts to return to play amid the global, COVID-19 pandemic. He also announced an awareness campaign to engage athletes and younger Ohioans in efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

“One of the things I’ve missed the most over the past few months is playing and watching sports,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “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 Ohio Department of Health has issued a Director’s Order providing guidance through July 15, 2020, for contact sport competitions. Competitive games and tournaments are now permitted for contact sports.

During this period, practices and open gyms with another team or club and inter-club/team play are also permitted so long as all teams involved agree to comply with the requirements set forth in the Director’s Order.

I Want A Season logo

The Lt. Governor emphasized that this order is extended for a short, trial basis and that the responsibility is with all Ohioans to continue exercising safe practices to slow the spread of COVID-19. He announced the launch of a new, social media campaign to encourage athletes, teams, and fans to continue to take coronavirus precautions seriously.

“Right now, there is one competitor we must defeat if we want to return to play, and that’s the spread of the coronavirus,” added the Lt. Governor. “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 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.

The Lt. Governor is releasing a video for the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and encourages everyone who looks forward to the return to play to join in the campaign by sharing a video or photo that emphasizes how they plan to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash their hands more regularly in order to slow the spread and keep the path open for sports to return in 2020. Those participating in the campaign should use the hashtag #IWantASeason.

The Lt. Governor’s video can be viewed below. Those wanting to download materials for the campaign should visit LG.Ohio.gov/IWantASeason in order to download tips for participating in the campaign and the logo, which can be included in related videos and photos.