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Afternoon Tea: July 10, 2020

The GAF is canceled, Wood Co. moves to level red and a mask order could be on its way to Toledo
Credit: Jenson Strock

TOLEDO, Ohio — Coronavirus updates keep on coming, and this time the virus finds itself intertwined with the ongoing issue with Toledo City Council.

Here's a breakdown of what was discussed on the July 10 episode of "Afternoon Tea."

THE GERMAN-AMERICAN FEST 

The German- American Fest has been given "das boot," and not in the way we know and love. Everyone’s favorite G.A.F. has been officially canceled for the first time in its 55-year history due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"This decision was held off until the last possible moment and was not arrived at lightly. Our Board of Trustees took the mandates issued by The State of Ohio concerning mass gatherings into consideration. But ultimately it is the welfare and safety of our guests, vendors, entertainers, and volunteers, with respect to COVID-19, that we made this painful decision. With the revised guidelines regarding mass gatherings and social distancing changing daily, the only responsible thing to do was cancel this event for 2020,” said Joe Petersberger, Chairman for the 55th German American Festival. 

Last year's fest was the biggest to date. 

Let's see if they can make up for the lost year in 2021. The date's are set for August 27 to August 30 at Oak Shade Grove in Oregon.

RELATED: 55th-annual German American Festival canceled due to coronavirus

WOOD COUNTY BUMPED UP TO LEVEL RED

On Thursday, Wood County was moved into the "red" category of Ohio's new Public Health Advisory Alert System, which means a mask order is officially in effect and began on July 10 at 6 p.m.

The mask order will expire as soon as the county drops back into either the orange or yellow categories.

But what landed Wood County at level three in the state's new four-level system?

Over the last three weeks, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said that cases have increased in Wood County. 

Over the last three weeks, there have been 63 cases per 100,000 people. Additionally, 18% of total cases in the county have come up in the last two weeks. From June 16 to July 11, the average daily new cases increased from less than one to 9. 

More than 89% of these cases have been in non-congregate settings, which DeWine said indicates community spread. This is because while cases spread quickly in settings like jails or nursing homes where people are grouped together, it is unlikely that these cases will spread outside of those walls and into the broader community. 

Another concerning trend that landed Wood County in the red is an increase in outpatient visits. From June 16 to July 2, that average doubled from three to six per day.

The instances in which those counties will have to wear a mask are as follows:

  • In any indoor location that is not a residence
  • When they are outdoors and unable to consistently maintain six feet of distance from anyone who is not a member of their household
  • While they are waiting for or riding/driving in public transportation, car service, private care service, tax service or ride sharing vehicle.

The order does not apply to children under the age of 10 or anyone who is unable to safely wear a face covering.

RELATED: Mask mandate for Wood County begins at 6 p.m. Friday

RELATED: Wood Co. hits level red in state's COVID-19 advisory system - What it means and what comes next

POTENTIAL TOLEDO MASK ORDER

While we're on the topic of masks, is there really a mask order in Toledo? 

Answer: Kind of... but, not really. Let's break things down. 

Mask Declaration

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukieiwicz issued a mask declaration on Wednesday calling on all Toledoans to wear masks covering the mouth and nose when out in public and in enclosed areas like grocery stores, libraries, bars or maybe a slam poetry reading, I don’t know what you do with your weekends. 

He did include some exemptions including medical conditions, children younger than 6, or the need to communicate via lip-reading with someone who has a hearing impairment. Plus wearers may remove the covering to eat or drink which, I mean, duh.

But can he do this? I mean, technically… no. What he is “declaring” holds no legal weight. These rules can’t be enforced by law until council votes - and this topic is a debacle in and of itself. 

City Council Scandal

Four Toledo City Council members are currently facing federal charges due to their alleged involvement in a bribes-for-votes scheme.

On Tuesday, council tried to vote on this mask issue, but asked the three accused council members who were in attendance to leave the meeting. These members refused to leave and so the meeting abruptly came to an end. No vote. No masks. Big upset.

City leaders have called on all four members to resign, none of which have so far. So, Kapszukiewicz is taking matters into his own hands and is giving them an ultimatum: resign by Sunday at 6 p.m. or he’s going to tell the attorney general. Classic.

But what does that do?

Ohio Attorney General

Going off of statement released by Kapszukiewicz himself, it seems that Ohio AG Dave Yost is in agreement that the best course of action should they not resign is to begin the process of suspension, which only Yost can do.

Kapszukiewicz's statement went on to say, in part:

"Beginning Monday July 13, either because the four members of Council have resigned or because the process for their suspension will have begun, Toledo City Council will be able to conduct its normal business and carry out the work of the citizens of Toledo.”

This means that by Monday, if Yost does, in fact, get the suspension process started, those four members are likely out of the mix until there is a verdict in each of their cases. 

 But weren’t we talking about masks? Yes, it all ties together.

City council to vote on Monday

Another vote on the Toledo mask mandate is set for Monday, and it is very likely these members will not be present, which means a third of council will be missing. 

But, according to Megan Robeson with the city, all council needs is seven votes for the measure to pass and without the four facing charges, eight should be there are ready to take it on.

So, an official mask order in the city of Toledo, could be issued in the very near future.

MONSTER COOKIE RECIPE

Yes, I put this same recipe in my previous story. Do I care? No. And neither should you. This recipe is delicious.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 3/4 cup of oatmeal
  • All the M&Ms and chocolate chips your heart desires
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

ASSEMBLY

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix eggs, peanut butter, softened butter and vanilla until nice and creamy. I prefer to use a stand mixer because it's easier.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients, omitting the chocolate chips and M&Ms. Once thoroughly mixed, slowly add the dry ingredients to your peanut butter mixture and mix on low.

Once combined, carefully mix in your chocolate chips and M&Ms. If you over-mix, the M&Ms could break and bleed when baked, but honestly, it tastes the same so who cares?

Using a cookie scoop (best invention ever) scoop your dough onto a greased cookie sheet. I use a silicon mat instead for easy cleanup, plus it I think it makes the bottoms crisper, I could just be crazy though.

Pop those dough balls in the oven for 11-13 minutes. I find best results at 13, but that could be my oven.

When they look tan on top, take them out and let them cool for about 10 minutes or so. Then they are good to serve!

Note: These are gluten-free as there's no flour needed, but they are not vegan because of the eggs and butter.

Have a suggestion for a topic you want covered? Let me know! Send an e-mail to jstrock@wtol.com.

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