At his daily press briefing on Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that he issuing an order requiring K-12 students returning to school to wear masks or face coverings.
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DeWine said the order gives Ohio the best chance it has to get students back in the classroom this fall and that the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and Ohio Pediatricians have jointly recommended masks for all kids returning to school.
Exceptions have been made for students under the age of 2-years-old, any child unable to remove a mask without assistance, a child with a significant behavioral/psychological issue undergoing treatment that is exacerbated by the use of a mask, a child with severe autism or with extreme developmental delay, a child with a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction.
In conjunction with the order, DeWine said that the state is working with FEMA to distribute two million masks to schools for use by students and staff.
The masks will be delivered to regional education service centers serving as distribution partners so schools and families have access to the resources they for the coming school year.
Earlier this summer, DeWine said that it was the state's goal to have students back in the classroom for the start of the academic calendar in the fall.
As the school year approaches, many school districts have opted to begin their school years online only, with others taking a hybrid approach.
Last month, DeWine issued a statewide mandate requiring everyone in public to wear a face covering.