Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m., Ohio will have a statewide mask mandate.
A statewide mask mandate for Ohio will go into effect Thursday at 6 p.m., Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday. The new order follows a previous mandate earlier this month that imposed mask regulations on specific counties experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.
Face coverings will be required for people in indoor locations outside their homes, public transportation and in outdoor places where social-distancing can’t be maintained.
Governor DeWine said that wearing masks statewide will make a difference in slowing the spread of coronavirus in Ohio.
"Our preliminary data indicate that the rate of increase in new cases has slowed in the high-risk counties where masks are already mandated, so we are cautiously optimistic that things are heading in the right direction," said Governor DeWine. "We believe that requiring masks statewide will make a significant difference and will be key to making sure other counties do not progress to a higher level of increased spread."
Exemptions from the mask order include children under the age of 10. Additional exclusions include:
DeWine also urged citizens to use extreme caution when considering attending or hosting an informal gathering.
"We are seeing serious exposures to the virus that are arising from everyday events like church services, small house parties, neighborhood get-togethers, children’s sleepovers, weddings, and even bridal showers," said Governor DeWine. "This virus is real, and we cannot let our guards down."
In addition, DeWine issued a travel advisory for people coming to Ohio from states with positive testing rates of 15% or higher, recommending that people self-quarantine for 14 days. The travel advisory covers nine states including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas.
CURRENT OHIO DATA:
According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 78,742 cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,235 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 9,864 people have been hospitalized. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.