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Gov. Mike DeWine: Ohio will encourage, but not require masks for general public

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said on Saturday that the state will encourage, but not require the general public to wear masks.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially made the recommendation that the general public wear masks or face coverings as it continues to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19).

And while Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine agrees with the recommendation, he said the state won't make it an official requirement. DeWine also reiterated that there are limitations to the masks and that the public is asked to wear cloth or made-at-home coverings rather than the medical-grade N95 masks that are in such high demand for doctors and nurses.

DeWine said he himself will be wearing a mask made for him by his wife, Fran. He also said that any employee who wants to wear a mask should be allowed to do so by his or her employer.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton echoed those sentiments, but emphasized wearing the masks should only be an addition to social distancing and not a substitute for it. Dr. Acton herself will be wearing a mask made by the wife of Ohio National Guard Adjutant General John C. Harris Jr.

As of Saturday, Ohio has had 3,739 confirmed coronavirus cases, 1,006 of which have resulted in hospitalization, 326 ICU admissions and 102 deaths. Dating back to the discovery of the state's first positive coronavirus case on March 9, DeWine has taken several measures to encourage physical distancing, including a stay-at-home order that is currently in place until at least May 1.  

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