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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Ohio Senate President to Enforce Social Distancing in Committee Rooms

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) during a virtual press conference.
Ohio Senate
Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) during a virtual press conference.

The crowd in an Ohio Senate committee room drew criticism for not observing social distance and not wearing masks. Some Democratic Senators voiced their frustration with the lack of COVID-related safety and one said the conditions forced him to leave the room. Now leadership says they're going to make changes.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says capacity limits will be set in committee rooms and additional chairs will be removed for safe social distancing during public hearings. 

"We're going to have a maximum capacity in any of these rooms and no place else for anybody to sit and no standing. So I think that will minimize but certainly not completely eliminate the concerns," says Huffman. 

The committee in question saw several people testify who were against vaccinations and supported weaker health orders. 

Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) left the hearing, saying it could put his family's health at risk. His daughter has a compromised immune system. 

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