COLUMBUS — All Ohioans out in public must wear a mask beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“Citizens in all Ohio counties will be under a mandatory mask order while out in public,” DeWine said at his Wednesday briefing.
Only those with a valid, legitimate reason for not wearing a mask may refrain from wearing one.
For Ohio citizens age 10 and up, masks must be worn at all times when:
• At an indoor location that’s not a residence
• Outdoors, when unable to keep 6-foot social distance from those not in your household
• When waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation-taxi, car service, or private rideshare.
“Last week, I called upon all Ohioans to wear masks when out in public,” DeWine said. “The evidence is clear: Masks work. Especially with social distancing. These measures make a huge difference. We know that masks work, and if the vast majority of us would wear them, it will matter a lot.”
The mandate is to be enforced by state and local authorities, not by businesses.
He also announced a travel advisory for all individuals coming into Ohio from states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 and he recommended that those individuals self-quarantine for 14 days.
“A few weeks ago, we talked about a group of 45 students who traveled to Myrtle Beach together from Belmont County; 16 people initially tested positive for COVID-19. Today, we know that 28 travelers have tested positive,” DeWine said. “This situation is not unique. We have heard from multiple local health departments that they are tracing cases related to out-of-state travel. Trips to states where there are high positivity rates, such as South Carolina and Florida, are leading to outbreaks here in Ohio.”
Ohio Ag Net reported that DeWine held a conference call with Ohio fair directors and managers Wednesday and that DeWine said after fairs started in June, cases of COVID-19 began to rise.
The article quoted DeWine: “We are now unfortunately seeing the results of some of these fairs. We’ve had one fair that has had 19 cases come out of that fair alone. We are really at a crucial stage in Ohio. What you do at your fairs determines if kids are back in school this fall. We’ve got to get control of this. If fairs are going to continue, you all are going to have to control the crowd and make sure everyone is wearing a mask … What we’ve seen so far is unacceptable.”
The full story is at www.ocj.com .
The state reports, as of the Wednesday afternoon update, Ohio has had 74,409 confirmed cases and 4,333 probable ones for a total of 78,742, with 9,864 hospitalizations, and 2,976 confirmed deaths plus 259 probable ones due to COVID-19 for a total of 3,235 deaths.
“Sadly, this is the second-highest daily new case count we have reported in Ohio, behind only 1,679 new cases last Friday,” DeWine pointed out.