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Colby Bomgardner, left, and Trenton Bomgarnder show their hogs in the ring during the 2020 Lebanon Area Fair in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Ohio has announced rules to allow agricultural fairs to reopen this summer.

“While COVID-19 made it impossible to hold fairs and animal exhibitions in the way we have in the past, they are of such importance to communities that every effort should be made to reopen them safely,” Health Department Director Stephanie McCloud said in a March 11 order.

In addition to the now-familiar mandates for mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing, the rules are designed to prevent large groups from forming in the midway or buildings.

Grandstand events will be limited to 30% capacity outdoors and 25% indoors.

Priority for seating will be given to family members at competitions, and to family and buyers at auctions.

A designated person must be assigned to ensure compliance with regulations for all hours of the fair’s operation.

Restrictions may be loosened or tightened as the virus situation warrants, McCloud said.

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