COLUMBUS, Ohio — Last weekend, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that a statewide order requiring masks and face coverings to be worn in public could be coming.
On Wednesday, DeWine announced he was doing just that.
Beginning Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m., masks are now required in all Ohio counties across the state. Previously, masks had only been mandated for counties that had reached the state's Level 3 coronavirus (COVID-19) risk level.
Citing the effectiveness that those mask mandates have had, however, DeWine has opted to extend it to all counties in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order mandates that masks be worn during the following occasions:
- At an indoor location that’s not a residence
- Outdoors, when unable to keep 6ft social distance from those not in your household
- When waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation -taxi, car service, private rideshare
Exceptions have been made for those younger than 10 years old, as well as those who suffer from health conditions, are actively exercising or playing sports, are officiants at religious services, involved in public safety or are actively eating or drinking.
After initially appearing to flatten the curve, Ohio has seen its coronavirus numbers rise in recent weeks. Last week, DeWine warned that if Ohio didn't slow the spread of the virus, it could see numbers as high as those in Florida and Arizona.