© 2022 Cincinnati Public Radio
Connecting You to a World of Ideas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Ohio Senate President To Enforce Social Distancing In Committee Rooms

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

We are in the middle of a pandemic with a virus that is highly transmittable.

My daughter has a severely compromised immune system and I won't sit there and put her health at risk. https://t.co/9WCiyoZoTq— Cecil Thomas (@CecilThomasOH) February 3, 2021

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. 

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.