News Release: 3/5/2020March 05, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 5, 2020
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Lisa Peterson: 614-644-0957
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Today Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH has issued an order regarding the Arnold Sports Festival held in and around Columbus this weekend.
State Issues Order Prohibiting General Spectator Attendance for Arnold Sports Festival
"Throughout the week I have been working closely with Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, our public health officials and representatives of 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. These concerns include the attendance of individuals from more than 80 countries and from other parts of the United States affected by COVID-19. We are also concerned that that almost all the athletic competitions at the festival are not single-ticket events and are rather general admission, which allows for spectators to attend dozens of events and travel freely from facility to facility. These facts make this unique event significantly different than any other event we know of in this state," said Governor DeWine. "With these public health concerns in mind, the State has issued an order prohibiting general spectators from attending."
While the athletic events are allowed to continue, and athletes are allowed to compete at the Arnold Sports Festival, general spectators will be prohibited from attending. This is outlined in the order issued by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH.
The order says the following:
1. The Arnold Sports and Fitness Expo is prohibited from allowing the public to attend events as part of the Arnold Sports and Fitness Expo scheduled for March 5-8, 2020 at the following venues:
- Greater Columbus Convention Center (400 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio 43215)
- Ohio Expo Center (717 E. 17th, Columbus, Ohio 43211)
- Hyatt Regency Columbus (350 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio 43215)
3. On Friday March 6, 2020 the Arnold Sports and Fitness Expo is permitted to admit spectators to the following four events scheduled for 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Battelle Grand at the Columbus Convention Center:
- Fitness International—Finals
- Figure International—Finals
- Women’s Physique—Finals
- Classic Physique—Finals
- Men’s Physique—Finals
- Arnold Classic—Finals
- Arnold Strongman Classic
- Bikini International—Finals
Some areas of the United States are experiencing “community spread” of the virus that causes COVID-19. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
For more information about Coronavirus, please visit Coronavirus.Ohio.gov.