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Ohio's health orders are ending, but the COVID-19 pandemic isn't

Don't expect everything to change at once.

CLEVELAND — As soon as the clock strikes midnight tonight, Ohio's health orders are over.

While that's refreshing news, don't expect everything to change at once.

"I'm guessing about half of the folks will continue to wear a mask even though they're not required to," Rick Novickis of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health told 3News. "A lot of the plexiglass shields may continue to remain in place."

Health officials hope people will be conscientious of others.

"Distancing is still going to be more of a way of life than it ever has been," Novickis said. "The reality is, in most cases, people are not asking for any type of documentation or any kind of proof of the vaccination, so it really becomes kind of like an honor system."

While the health orders are gone, COVID isn't.

"We're still getting 50 to 100 cases a day, which is on top of those reported to the city of Cleveland," Novickis explained.

While we're approaching a 50% vaccination rate in Ohio, there's still a long way to go. Patience will be key, especially as businesses try to get back up to full speed.

"When you walk into a restaurant or a business and you see that it's tw0-thirds empty and they tell you there's a 20-minute wait and you see a whole lot of empty tables, [you may ask] 'Why? What's going on?'" Novickis said. "The real answer is, in most cases, they don't have the staffing."

And remember, businesses have the prerogative to make their own protocols, so they have the right to require masks if they choose. Think of the "No shoes, No shirt, No service" signs with "No Masks" added.

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