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Ohio Governor Asks To Limit Spectators For Indoor Sporting Events Due To Coronavirus Outbreak

COLUMBUS (KDKA) - The Ohio governor is asking residents to take precautions during the coronavirus outbreak, recommending all indoor sporting events limit spectators and universities move toward online classes.

On Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine addressed the coronavirus outbreak.

He asked indoor sporting events to limit the people inside, suggesting spectators not be allowed. Outdoor events can continue, he said.

"For indoor events, we are asking for no events with spectators other than the athletes, parents and others essential to the game. Right now, outdoor events can continue," DeWine said.

The Pittsburgh Penguins play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, but there hasn't been an official announcement regarding the game. The first four games of the NCAA tournament are scheduled to be played in Dayton, and the first and second round of regional games is in Cleveland. There has been no word yet from the NCAA or NHL about that request.

KDKA reached out to multiple universities in Pittsburgh to see if they would be doing something similar.

KDKA reached out to Pitt, Duquesne, Robert Morris, Carnegie Mellon, Carlow, Chatham, Penn State, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and California University of Pennsylvania. None of these schools are banning spectators at this time and are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation.

Three coronavirus cases have been confirmed across the state, officials said, but added that the virus is expected to spread.

The governor asked universities and colleges to screen students returning from international travel, eliminate international travel altogether, postpone university-sponsored travel and move towards remote classes.

Ohio State University just canceled face-to-face classes and instruction due to coronavirus concerns.

On Tuesday, Kent State announced it will stop having in-person classes as well. The university says face-to-face classes will stop effective 4:25 p.m. today and will last through April 12. Remote instruction will begin March 16. They posted an updated schedule on their website.

As for K-12 schools, the governor hasn't proposed closing them, but warned parents should be prepared to stay home with kids.

"Please consider limiting practices that could cause spread of germs," DeWine added of religious institutions, "If you are in an at-risk group, please think about staying home."

He went on to say that COVID-19 is "dangerous" and "we can't ignore it."

KDKA reached out to Governor Tom Wolf's office to see if he's taking any measures like Governor Mike DeWine in Ohio but haven't received a response yet. KDKA also reached out to the city of Pittsburgh as far as large events going on as scheduled like the St. Patrick's Day parade. KDKA was told the city is continuing to monitor updates closely but nothing new as of now.

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