Coronavirus: Mask order extended to entire state starting Thursday

All Ohioans will be required to wear a face mask while out in public starting Thursday at 6 p.m., Gov. Mike DeWine said.

Residents must wear a mask while inside non-residential locations, while outside and unable to keep 6 feet apart from others and while waiting for taxis or ride shares and on public transportation.

The order applies to those who are 10 and older.

Exemptions are included for those with a medical condition or disability, those communicating with someone who has a medical condition or disability, people exercising or playing sports, those officiating religious services, people involved in public safety and those actively eating or drinking.

“There’s an abundance of proof on how important masks are,” he said.

DeWine said part of the reason he expanded the order to all counties was “pretty good evidence” that mask wearing was slowing the rate of new cases reported in level 3 counties.

After talking to health commissioners and mayors recently, the governor said it is clear that more people are wearing masks in level 3 counties.

Previously the mask order only applied in counties that were at level 3 or 4. Once a county dropped down to level 2, it was no longer under the order.

As of Friday, there were 19 counties at level 3.

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DeWine also announced a travel advisory for people coming to Ohio from states with positive testing rates of 15% or higher.

The advisory recommends that those people self-quarantine for 14 days.

The travel advisory covers nine states, including Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina.

The governor also stressed the importance of following safety guidelines set by the state after an outbreak 19 coronavirus cases was traced back to a county fair.

“We want fairs to continue,” DeWine said. “But I spoke with community fair managers today and expressed that they must follow the rules.”

He also urged Ohioans to limit social interactions with large groups and to wear masks and social distance while with others after multiple outbreaks have been traced back to house parties, sleepovers, weddings, bridal showers and other family gatherings.

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More than 1,500 new coronavirus cases were reported in the last 24 hours, the second highest daily amount of cases reported during the pandemic, the governor said.

The highest was last Friday when the state saw more than 1,600 cases reported in one day.

There have been 78,742 total cases of coronavirus and 3,235 deaths attributed to the virus in Ohio according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The state is reporting 54,426 presumed recoveries.There have been 74,409 confirmed cases and 2,976 deaths, according to ODH.

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Hospitalizations by 128 for a total of 9,864 admissions. Nineteen ICU admissions were reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 2,386.

While the state has doubled its testing, DeWine said he’d like to see it double again. About 24,000 people are being tested each day.

The governor also said there are some shortages in the “ingredients” used in tests, which is causing issues across the country.


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