DeWine Wants to Trace Your Every Move: What we know so far about Ohio’s contact tracing

You may have noticed something new on your smart phone recently. It’s the new, billion-dollar “Health” technology created by a partnership between Apple and Google. If it’s not in your settings just yet, it will be once your phone updates.

This new technology lays the foundation for contact-tracing apps to be downloaded to your devices. Contact-tracing technologies are being used by several states as a means to inhibit the spread of Covid-19. Ohio is among them.

Contact tracing is nothing new. It’s been used for decades during outbreaks to track the spread of disease. The game-changer is technology, something that takes contact tracing into a whole new arena.

These apps run in the background on cellular devices, tracking your location using Bluetooth and recording others you come in contact with.

The Clinton Global Initiative is promoting contact tracing.

California Governor Newsom and New York Governor Cuomo are strong supporters of the program. So is Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

So far, about 10 states are offering or planning to offer cellphone apps (like Utah’s Healthy Together app) to track people who may have been exposed to the virus.

DeWine recently announced that Ohio’s contact tracing will be overseen by the controversial organization, Partners In Health.

Partners in Health  lists George Soros’ Open Society Foundations as an official partner, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Chelsea Clinton serves on the PIH Board of Trustees, according to its 2019 annual report.

An investigative reporter with Ohio Statehouse News submitted FOIA requests to the Governor’s Administration and the Ohio Department of Health for copies of contracts and communications with PIH. The requests were submitted over five weeks ago but have yet to be fulfilled.

Hundreds of Ohio tracers have been hired and are being trained in the use of contact tracing technology. No figures are available on how much this is costing the state.

DeWine said participation in Ohio’s contact tracing program is optional. However, at least 60% of a population must have the technology downloaded and active in order for it to work.

In other countries, the take-up rate has been low. For example, Singapore’s own TraceTogether only managed to get 20 percent participation. Government officials in that country are now pushing mandatory contact tracing through a wearable device so that, they said, further shutdowns and restrictions will not be necessary.

Proponents of contact tracing with technology say that participants’ personal data is safe and will only be used for tracing Covid-19. Convincing the public of this may not be so easy.

When you come into contact with someone who later tests positive for Covid-19, you will be contacted by Ohio health officials who will direct you to quarantine yourself at home. You will need a separate bathroom and bedroom that no other members of the household use.

If you do not have access to a separate bathroom and isolated bedroom, the state will ask you to relocate during the required quarantine period, though they did not elaborate on where this would be.

“So again, the vast, vast majority of people are going to do what they need to do to keep other people safe without any coercion by anybody,” DeWine said regarding self-quarantine at a recent press conference.

For those that do not cooperate or do not have the appropriate facilities in their home, the Governor and former Health Director Dr. Amy Acton found an old law that will mandate you to do so.

“These laws are very, very old and go back to the 1800s,” said Acton. “We do quarantine. It is a law; it can be mandated if someone is putting others at risk.”

View a video clip of these statements.

Many Ohioans question the need for costly contact tracing technology in Ohio, where an estimated 77 percent of deaths have occurred in nursing facilities. Nursing homes have been under lockdown orders since early March.

Ohio has had about 2,300 Covid-19 deaths, most over the age of 80. No one under the age of 20 has died of Covid-19 in Ohio.

Others see a problem with the technology, itself. Just one of the issues is Bluetooth.

Because Bluetooth can usually penetrate walls, if you and an infected person are in the same building but separated by a wall you could still be falsely alerted and forced to quarantine. This could also occur if you are practicing social distancing. It all depends on how strong the Bluetooth signal is in various locations.

When asked about the new partnership between Apple and Google, Trump replied that the contact-tracing technology is “an amazing thing” but many people “have some very big constitutional problems with it.”

Violent Protests Given Free Rein; Mayor Orders CPD to Stand Down

The Statehouse has been a regular target of vandalism by protesters and some Ohio lawmakers have had enough. They are going public about Gov. Mike DeWine’s lack of regard for protecting Ohio’s taxpayer-funded property.

They also question why Mayor Andrew Ginther ordered the Columbus Police Department to “stand down” to rioters, leaving law-abiding citizens and downtown business owners without protection.

Mayor Ginter publicly denied that he ordered CPD to stand-down, but a telephone call to the department tells otherwise.

In the call, the dispatcher clearly states that Ginther ordered CPD to stand down and gave rioters “full rein” of the streets.

Mayor Ginther ordered CPD to stand down.

Several Ohio representatives are condemning the blatant disregard for public safety and public property by the Governor and the Mayor.

The representatives spoke out on social media against the violent protests.

Speaker Larry Householder said Ohio taxpayers should not have to pay for damages left behind by rioters. He warned that the city’s Local Government Fund could be made responsible for paying for repairs and cleanup.

“I am notifying Mayor Ginther right now that whatever costs it takes to repair damages to Statehouse, Riffe, Supreme Court and Rhodes Tower – I will be pushing to have deducted from City of Columbus’ Local Government Fund,” stated Householder in a social media post.

“State taxpayers should not have to pay if the City won’t let their police protect,” said the Speaker. “If Columbus has the honor of being our Capital City then they have the responsibility to protect taxpayers assets.”

Rep. Jon Cross questioned why the Governor has not stepped in.

Rep. Scott Wiggam stated in a Facebook post that no one should be above the law.

The Statehouse is Post #1 to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Officers were photographed cleaning up after protesters, after reportedly being ordered to do so by DeWine.

Fliers were distributed by protesters with a list of demands, which included defunding the CPD, changing the name of city of Columbus, releasing all prisoners and having the city listed as a sanctuary for immigrants and refugees.

While several Republican state representatives spoke out against continued unchecked rioting in the state’s capital, many other representatives from both parties were silent.

The following is another post by Speaker Householder.

This is the epicenter of state government and the symbol of law and order in Ohio. It lies within the jurisdiction of the City. Arrests that have been made in past weeks have had all charges dropped by the City Prosecutor.

OHIO STATEHOUSE (CAPITAL SQUARE) LAST NIGHT.This is the epicenter of state government and the symbol of law and order in Ohio. It lies within the jurisdiction of the City. Arrests that have been made in past weeks have had all charges dropped by the City Prosecutor.

Posted by Larry Householder on Saturday, June 20, 2020

Ohioans Make a Rush on Guns & Ammo

There’s nothing quite like rioting, mob violence and ordered police-retreat to cause a major run on gun stores. Throw in a pandemic and presidential election and you’ve got a stampede on firearms and ammo.

During the first half of 2020, more than two million Americans became first-time gun owners, according to the National Rifle Association.

Gun sales shot up in Ohio in February and have stayed there through May. June may surpass preceding months, said some Ohio gun dealers.

“It began during the lockdowns and hasn’t slowed down since,” said a salesman at Sporting Defense LLC in Cambridge, Ohio. “It looks like June will top them all.”

It’s a seller’s-market and keeping weapons and ammo in stock has been challenging. There are few deals to be had and, like grocery stores, there are some empty shelves.

Increased sales are nationwide, said experts.

Gun sales spiked more than 80 percent year over year in May as consumers responded to safety concerns and civil unrest prompted, in part, by Covid.

State Representative Nino Vitale is an NRA concealed carry instructor. He has become well-known around Ohio as a civil-liberties advocate and a proponent for opening the state from economic shutdowns and restrictions.

Vitale said he is disappointed in the lack of leadership from Governor Mike DeWine and DeWine’s disregard for law-abiding citizens. He is not surprised by the increase in weapons sales.

“People are frustrated at the abuse they are taking by their government of their own freedoms and liberties,” said the Representative. “As a firearms instructor, I have people calling me constantly and saying the only thing they feel they have left is their ability to defend themselves from these tyrannical dictators.

“People are mad, and I fear if this keeps up the societal situations will get worse. Government is not promoting liberty and peace; they are advocating for frustration and chaos.”

Vitale’s statement was echoed by a customer in an East Ohio gun shop.

“The governor of Ohio is not for the law-abiding citizen,” said Matt Thomas, who was looking to purchase a house gun. “We have to be able to protect ourselves against this mayhem and madness.”

Long-time Ohio CCW instructor Richard Quinlin of Belmont County said that the 8-hour certification course is back after a few months closed due to Covid concerns. Quinlin reopened in early June to plenty of public interest.

Quinlin’s class includes qualification on the shooting range, and a question and answer session with an attorney about the legal use of a firearm. The instructor explained that use of a firearm is authorized only when there is a threat of severe bodily harm or death, and not simply to defend one’s property.

Approximately 1,726,053 guns were sold in May– a record-breaking 80.2 percent increase from last year, according to data released late Monday by Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, which examines the raw data obtained from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Of the firearms sold, 1,052,723 were handguns and 535,014 were long-guns, the SAAF estimated.

Thousands Died in Nursing Homes & Our Economy was Crashed but Ohio Should be Grateful, Says Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton made some unflattering remarks about Ohioans in a Twitter post Monday.

Clinton accused us of hate-targeting, harassing and threatening the state’s former Health Director Dr. Amy Acton into resigning.

Indeed, there is no love lost between Acton and Ohioans. But it didn’t start out that way.

Ohioans had full faith in Acton, DeWine and Husted. We were glued to our screens every afternoon for press conferences, determined to do our part to “flatten the curve” and “save lives.” But skewed data and escalated fearmongering from our leaders began to erode away at that trust.

Chelsea Clinton serves on the board of the far-left organization Partners in Health. PIH has collaborated with the Clinton Foundation on numerous projects and will be working with Ohio on contact tracing.

While Acton might deserve the gratitude of the Clinton family for promoting their political agendas, Ohioans have only to thank Acton for a crashed economy and prolonging the shutdown, without any evidence to back it up.

As one Ohioan put it, Acton tried to kill a gnat with a sledgehammer.

Acton’s projections couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, states that did not shut down fared just as well or better in saving lives from Covid-19 as states that did.

Acton’s blunders resulted in an estimated $4 billion dollar hit to the state, bankrupted businesses and disrupted our children’s education. We now have two thousand unemployed and hundreds of released criminals loose on the streets.

Acton started the with faulty modeling and ignored critical real-time data as it became available. Instead of changing course, the Acton, DeWine and Husted trio suppressed factual data and presented Ohioans with misleading numbers and projections.

Right up to the day of her resignation, Acton contended that young, healthy people were dying from Covid-19. In reality, confirmed deaths in nursing homes account for 79 percent of the state’s total deaths.

Our state’s most vulnerable senior citizens in nursing care facilities continue to be overlooked and have little to no access to testing.

Even though Acton resigned, she continues to make the same nearly quarter-of-a-million-dollar annual salary to advise the governor on health issues, this while critical budgets like education and Medicare are cut and Ohioans livelihoods are sacrificed due to DeWine’s ongoing closures and restrictions. On top of this, Ohio is paying a new state health director.

With Acton in his ear, DeWine continues to extend the emergency order in what seems to be an effort to keep Ohioans in his dictatorial grip for as long as possible.

Chelsea Clinton’s remark is a low blow. Acton has worked to promote her agenda and national name recognition, forgetting first and foremost about the people she was appointed to serve

Compassion Outlawed: All Injured and Orphaned Fawns in Ohio Must Die.

Sarge is known as the dog that loves deer.

Whenever a new fawn is carried through the door, Sarge leaps into action. He frantically sniffs the babe over to determine if there are any injuries. From that moment on, he becomes the fawn’s guardian and refuses to leave its side.

Sarge’s instinct to care for orphaned and injured fawns comes naturally. It’s the same for most people. Who could turn their back on an innocent, helpless babe? But that’s exactly what the state tells us we must do.

All injured and orphaned fawns must die.

Most Ohioans are not aware of this cruel policy set forth by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The first thing they do is call the game warden when they find a fawn that needs help. This is a death sentence, as wildlife officials will euthanize the babe or place it in the woods to die a slow and painful death.

Hundreds of fawns are killed this way each year.

Veterinarians are forced to euthanize any fawn brought to their attention or risk losing their license to practice. It’s the same for state-certified wildlife rehabilitators. They are forbidden to rehab fawns.

There is absolutely nowhere in the state to take a fawn for care.

My family learned of this cruel policy a few years ago when a game warden showed up and ordered us to kill a fawn we had raised to adulthood. The deer was free to come and go, and was in no way contained. But that didn’t matter.

Ohio claims ownership of all wildlife within its borders, and it has no compassion where deer are concerned.

After refusing to kill the deer, we were threatened with prosecution. Shortly afterward the deer turned up dead, his remains found decomposing in the woods. We suspected he was killed by wildlife officers but there was no way to know.

This happens frequently in Ohio. A deer in Clarington was killed just for being tame, shot in front of young children in a back yard. Stories of ODOW’s cruel tactics are commonplace.

Nearly every other state in the nation has some form of fawn rehabilitation, where fawns are raised and released wild. This is very successful and costs the states nothing.

While Ohioans are banned from helping a fawn, the state’s deer farming industry is thriving. Deer farmers raise wild deer inside fences  as domestic livestock. These deer are commonly used in canned hunts.

Unlike injured wild fawns, deer in farming operations have access to veterinary care.

“There are 600 people in Ohio raising deer, but people just don’t know we exist,” said Curt Waldvogel, a Madison County deer farmer and president of the Whitetail Deer Farmers of Ohio. “We’re not trying to hide, but people don’t know there is this industry out there.”

ODOW claims that fawn rehabilitation was outlawed due to Chronic Wasting Disease, an illness that has never been found in Ohio’s wild deer population. CWD has been found only in Ohio’s deer farming herds.

Every year various deer advocacy groups attempt to get legislation passed to reopen fawn rehabilitation and sanctuary in Ohio, and every year we’ve failed. The ODOW, deer farmers and sport-hunting groups rally against it. They do not want to give up even a fraction of control over the billion dollar white-tail deer industry.

Wildlife rehabs are funded through donations and adding fawn rehabilitation would cost the state nothing.

Despite Ohio’s cruel wildlife laws, Sarge and I will continue to help fawns because there is no other option for these innocent babes. There are others out there doing the same. We all live in fear that the ODOW will show up to kill the animals we have poured our time, resources and hearts into saving.

May God bless any fawn born in the state of Ohio.

DeWine’s Economic Shut Down Hurt Restaurants and Black-Owned Businesses Most

Photo Credit:

Small businesses across the state continue to take a financial beating this year, but the food service industry, its workforce and black entrepreneurs are being hardest hit.

Gov. Mike DeWine allowed food service establishments to open for dining, but with imposed mandatory guidelines that some restaurants find impossible to implement without going bankrupt.

The most recent news release from the Ohio Restaurant Association reveals that more than four in 10 Ohio restaurants have closed, and of those, three percent will not reopen.

The ORA report stated that nearly half of Ohio’s restaurants had experienced year-over-year sales losses of more than 70% and more than half of the 585,000 employees in the industry are laid off or furloughed.

The impact of restrictions and guidelines on the restaurant industry is a double-edge sword, affecting the businesses themselves and their furloughed staffs.

The downturn comes at a time when the high-end dining industry was finding unprecedented success in Ohio.

African American businesses have been hurt the most among racial and ethnic groups nationwide, with a 41 percent decline of black owners from February to April, according to recent findings from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Rep. Jon Cross (R-Kenton) who has been pushing for the Governor to ease restrictions on Ohio’s small businesses said, “We cannot allow a health crisis to turn into an economic crisis. Moving forward, we don’t shut down our economy and our businesses. We learn how to handle things differently.”

Rep. Cross and State Rep. Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) introduced #HB621-Business Fairness Act, that would allow all Ohio businesses to remain open during a pandemic.

“We may never get back the jobs that were lost,” said the representative. “Best case scenario, it could take months to get back to where things were before the economic shutdown.

“In this case, it’s about our future economy. We need to handle these things better, wiser, faster, smoother.”

From February to April, black business owners saw a 41% drop, immigrant business owners saw a 36% drop, Asian business owners a 26% drop, female business owners 25%, and white business owners 17%.

The study found that the number of active business owners dropped 20% (3.3 million) from February 2020 to April 2020, the largest drop on record.

According to Susie Dunlea, ORA media director, food service industry guidelines from Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton  are ongoing and there currently is no set end date.

While the COVID economic shutdown has hit entrepreneurs across the board, closing some 3.3 million small businesses nationwide at least temporarily, the sidelining of 440,000 African Americans has been especially severe.

The Small-Business Die-Off is Here, an article that ran this month in the Atlantic,  stated that “the great small-business die-off is here, and it will change the landscape of American commerce, auguring slower growth and less innovation in the future.”

Small businesses make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses and employ nearly 60 million, or nearly half of all workers.

While unemployment among white Americans fell to 12.4% last month, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate for African Americans rose slightly to 16.8%.

One Ohio small business that seems to have weathered the COVID-19 economic shutdown is J’s Sweet Treats and Wedding Cakes on Parsons Avenue in Columbus.

J’s Sweet Treats and Wedding Cakes LLC had just opened its doors for business when the Governor’s lockdown orders were issued.

Juana Williams had been operating out of her home for years before taking the leap and opening the custom cakes and bake shop in downtown Columbus.

“A lot of people assumed we were closed because so many others closed down completely during that time,” said Williams, sole proprietor.

Williams and her remaining staff took a creative approach and posted live on social media each day to let customers know they were still baking and open for carry-out.

In addition to cakes, J’s offers shakes, smoothies and breakfast biscuits.

“It was March of 2020 that we opened the doors,” said Williams, who retired from 25 years with AT&T before pursuing her dream of owning a bakery. “Columbus started showing us the love and then, Boom! COVID-19.”

Custom cake sales turned out to be the bakery’s saving grace. Though the orders were small, it was enough to sustain the bakery and pay the rent.

“There were no more orders for large wedding cakes serving 200 to 300 people,” said Williams. “We were baking small cakes for birthday parties and other special occasions, most of which would come in at the last minute.”

Williams has four employees. Two were laid off during the shutdown.
“At this point we’re just excited to be back,” said Williams. “I’m thankful that we were able to sustain the business when some were not so fortunate and had to close their doors.

“Columbus is showing us the love and it feels good,” said Williams.

J’s Sweet Treats is one of numerous black-owned businesses in the Columbus area.

“Playgrounds Set Free” Over the Weekend

A mission to open Ohio playgrounds Saturday met with great success.

Groups of parents statewide cut caution tape, removed ropes and rolled up fencing that held playgrounds closed and let their children play – as part of peaceful protest against Gov. Mike DeWine’s health orders.

The Facebook group, “It’s Playtime!”  coordinated the event.

“I saw people cleaning playgrounds. I saw people picking up all around the playgrounds. I saw kids smiling and laughing. I saw families together having a good time. I saw success,”  said organizer Lauralee Schmidt, on the group’s Facebook page.

“I had floods of images and videos yesterday from across Ohio,” said Schmidt. “It was beautiful.

“I want to thank all the Ohio police who allowed open play. There was not one incident reported to me that went vile. It was respectful by all parties.

“I want to thank the parks and recreation people who turned their heads while we took down playground ropes, chains, and even fencing in some places. Again, the respect given was also given back.”

Several group members posted pics of tape being removed and children playing.

“The big kid (my hubs) has been wanting to do this for months,” said a parent. “He ripped that tape down with a vengeance.”

“We went to our local park and opened it,” said another parent. “One unexpected observation was how quickly we all tired out being out in the sun and actively playing. I took my grandkids and they really tired out. The lockdown and lack being outside playing is showing. They really enjoyed themselves.”

Another parent reported, “We went to our local playground with two other friends and kids, a total of five adults, 11 kids, and then a large group showed up to play basketball. Two police officers sat in parking lot but never confronted us. Unfortunately, basketball courts were locked so the group couldn’t play, but it was a nice morning out!”

Later it was reported that the manager of the recreation center told a family at the same playground that they would need to leave.

Said Schmidt, “To every single mom, dad, family member, friend, and human who took the call to action seriously and moved to free playgrounds, you all did big things for kids these last few days.”

The group may be helping to reopen even more things in the state if one member has anything to do with it.

“It was great,” said the member. “But we as parents are far from done. What is next? Pools? Splash pads? Removing these six foot requirements? Schools?”

The member added, “With these protests and riots I’m beyond done listening about a virus that doesn’t seem to bother those groups, or they are exempted from social distancing.”

Schmidt made the decision to organize “It’s Playtime” a few weeks ago.

“There is zero evidence showing Covid-19 lives on surfaces, lives in heat, or is contagious in the way originally rolled out,” said Schmidt. “The overreach of DeWine and Acton is purely that, an overreach with no basis of reasoning.”

State Representative Scott Lipps, who represents the district that Schmidt lives in, was supportive of opening the playgrounds.

“Kids deserve to get to be kids,” said Lipps. “The whole state should be opened up by now.”

Shortly after the group made its intentions to open playgrounds public, Gov. DeWine announced that playgrounds would be allowed to open June 10.

The same thing happened after three of Ohio’s largest amusement and waterparks filed a lawsuit against DeWine and ODH Dr. Amy Acton. Hours after the lawsuit was made public last week, DeWine announced that amusement parks could open on June 19.

Ohio’s Three Largest Amusement & Water Parks File Law Suit to Reopen

Kalahari Resorts had a message for Gov. Mike DeWine.

The state’s largest amusement and water parks, Kalahari Resorts, Kings Island and Cedar Point, joined forces Friday in a law suit against DeWine and ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton for ordering the parks closed.

The suit asks for the immediate reopening of amusement parks and water parks. It also asks that Acton be prevented from closing them again in the future.

Hours after the suit was filed, DeWine announced amusement parks can reopen throughout the state on June 19.

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed suit to enjoin the Ohio Department of Health from continuing to enforce its criminalization of Ohio’s amusement and water parks, as implemented through the Director’s May 29, 2020 Order.

This followed action taken by Ohio House Republicans to reopen amusement and water parks.

The law suit also names the Warren County Health District and the Erie County General Health District.

The lawsuits claim Acton lacks authority to order the restrictions preventing water parks and amusement parks from opening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to Friday, her latest health order required them to stay shuttered through July 1.

The attorneys representing the amusement parks and water park include Chris Finney of Cincinnati, who successfully sued DeWine and Acton on behalf of gyms and fitness clubs.

It was an eventful and successful week in the courts for Finney Law Firm. The agency sued Muni Court Judges Monday to restart evictions. Evictions were then reopened on Wednesday. Finney Law Firm also sued to reopen amusement parks and at 2 pm Friday, De Wine announced they could reopen.

DeWine announced Thursday zoos, museums, playgrounds cinemas and other entertainment venues can reopen starting June 10 with virus precautions and attendance restrictions.

Self-Proclaimed Antifa Radical Running for Ohio House on Democratic Ticket

If you were wondering just how far left the Ohio Democratic Party could go, wonder no more.

Meet the Democratic candidate running for Ohio House District 2, self-proclaimed Antifa radical and socialist Sam Grady.

Sam Grady’s Twitter page.

Sam Grady celebrates vandalism, looting and the pummeling of police officers by rioters.

Taken from Democratic Candidate Sam Grady’s Twitter page.

One would think such a candidate would be shunned by the Ohio Democratic party and by House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes. Sadly, this is not the case.

Democratic Chairman Larry Weirich said the party has not “endorsed” Grady, but they also have not denounced this dangerous individual or asked him to step aside. The party has not repudiated Grady’s radical and hate-filled statements.

From Sam Grady’s Twitter page. Grady is a Democrat running for the Ohio House.

No legal action has been taken by the Democratic party to remove Grady from the ticket and Ohioans can expect to see this Antifa terrorist on the ballot in November.

Ohio House District 2 includes Mansfield and Richland County. Grady is running against Republican Marilyn John.

Playgrounds Opening Statewide Despite Governor’s Orders

A group of Ohioans hopes to “free some playgrounds” this weekend.

The Facebook group,  “It’s Playtime!”  will be peacefully opening up playgrounds in communities statewide on Saturday morning at 10 am, allowing their children to do what children do best, play!

“We are taking back our parks for our children,” said Lauralee Schmidt, the event’s organizer. She is inviting other parents with young children to join in.

“Ohio is a big state. We can’t possibly gather at every playground together. So please either take back your playground on your own, or find a group within this group,” said Schmidt.

“Post your area, so plans can be made locally.”

With amusement parks, festivals, water parks, fairs and most pools closed for the summer season due to orders from the governor, some children are left with little to do.

“There is zero evidence showing Covid-19 lives on surfaces, lives in heat, or is contagious in the way originally rolled out,” said Schmidt. “The overreach of DeWine and Acton is purely that, an overreach with no basis of reasoning.”

Scientific data shows that Covid-19 cannot survive in sunshine and fresh air, and that’s where children thrive.

The group encourages parents to be respectful when opening playgrounds.

“We will be peaceful, but won’t be a pushover,” said the organizer.

“Some people just feel more confident doing this as a group,” she said. “This is statewide, so everyone is encouraged to open the playground closest to them.”

Schmidt said parents should take care to leave playgrounds better than they found them, by throwing away trash, being respectful and possibly even wiping down play equipment.

State Representative Scott Lipps, said he is supportive of opening Ohio and the opening of Ohio’s playgrounds.

“Kids deserve to get to be kids,” said Lipps. “Since Kings Island and most pools are closed, what are kids going to do?”

Lipps co-sponsored legislation that would have opened the state, including Sub SB1 and SB 311. The legislation passed in the Ohio House but has not yet passed in the Senate.

Lipps said Ohio should be “completely open and getting back in the business of making the state successful.”

Will the families that are opening playgrounds face consequences?

Rep. Lipps said that is not his call, but he would certainly hope not.

“I don’t understand the concept of arresting law-abiding citizens, especially when we’ve got rioters out setting fires,” said the representative.

Daniel Hoerst, who is helping promote the playground event, said that there is strength in numbers.

“People can know that they have support and don’t need to be afraid,” said Hoerst.

Hoerst advised that if police arrive, parents should do as the police say and not be confrontational.

“With kids there watching, it’s not worth it,” said Hoerst. “It’s important but it’s not worth getting in trouble over.”

“I think by working in Groups we can draw more attention and have our voices heard. It’s harder to intimidate us or stop us when we are in groups.

“We would be considered a protest and we are not damaging any property.”

Schmidt said that she and others have been opening playgrounds for the past couple weeks. Officials have been supportive and have chosen to look the other way.

Since creating the group on Facebook, Schmidt has received numerous responses from other parents who have opened up their local playgrounds. “Not one single person was attacked or yelled at,” said Schmidt.

“If you are going out on this beautiful day to set a playground free, remember to be peaceful. Throw the garbage away and be kind,” she said.

“So many people sent me pics today of their kids playing on playgrounds. It was so awesome to see that. There were NO issues at a single place.”