One year ago today: Gov. DeWine announces Ohio’s first coronavirus cancellation

One year ago today: Gov. DeWine announces Ohio’s first coronavirus cancellation
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at a news conference at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, to announce impacts on the Arnold Sports Festival of the coronavirus. DeWine and organizers of the annual Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus announced Tuesday that only athletes will be allowed at most of the event scheduled to begin Thursday because of the threat posed by the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth) (Source: Julie Carr Smyth)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOIO) - On March 3, 2020, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the first government-recommended cancellation of an event due to coronavirus.

The Arnold Sports Expo, which typically draws around 250,000 people, was scheduled to be held in Columbus but was canceled due to the rapidly growing spread of coronavirus.

Two days later, on March 5, 2020, DeWine made the then-unprecedented move to ban spectators from most events at the Arnold Sports Festival.

“The mayor, our public health officials and I are gravely concerned that that the event as organized poses a unique and unacceptable risk for the spread of COVID-19 for guests and the community,” DeWine said at the time.

DeWine announced Ohio’s first confirmed coronavirus cases on March 9; however, it was later determined the virus had been in Ohio since at least Jan. 7.

The next few weeks after the Arnold Sports Expo cancellation would see everything from sporting events to concerts canceled. Schools sent students home for virtual learning, and restaurants were banned from having in-person dining.

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