As Ohio's coronavirus (COVID-19) numbers and trends continue to surge, Governor Mike DeWine is taking new measures in an attempt to increase the state's compliance toward wearing masks.
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During a televised statewide address on Wednesday night, DeWine said that he will reissue the state's order regarding face coverings, which requires masks to be worn in public. But as opposed to the order that was originally issued in July, DeWine said that the new order will include three new provisions, including the following:
- Each business will be required to post a Face Covering Requirement sign at all public entrances of the store.
- Each store will be responsible for ensuring that customers and employees are wearing masks.
- A new Retail Compliance Unit, comprised of agents led by the Bureau of Workers' compensation, will inspect to ensure compliance.
The order also includes potential punishments for businesses that are found to not be adhering to the order. According to DeWine, a first violation of the order will bring about a written warning, while a second violation will bring about the closure of the store for up to 24 hours.
DeWine said that while some businesses have been good about adhering to and enforcing the state's mask policy, others have not.
In addition to reissuing the state's mask order, DeWine said that he will soon be issuing new guidance regarding social gatherings in the state. DeWine also warned that he could soon be reconsidering orders regarding bars, restaurants and schools in the weeks to come if the state's recent coronavirus trends don't improve.
On Wednesday, Ohio reported 5,874 new coronavirus cases. That number was down from the record 6,508 new coronavirus cases the state reported on Tuesday. Over the course of the past 21 days, the state has reported an average of 3,779 new coronavirus cases each day.
You can watch all of DeWine's address in the video player below.