Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine wearing face masks on June 23. Photo provided by the Office of Gov. Mike Dewine
Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the Ohio Department of Health would issue a public health order requiring face masks in public in seven counties where the spread of COVID-19 is considered most severe.
Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Montgomery and Trumbull are all considered “red alerts” under the state’s Public Health Advisory System, and exhibit “very high exposure and spread” of COVID-19.
“The law is a teacher and the law helps establish the norms in society, and that’s what we hope happens in these seven counties,” DeWine said Tuesday.
The health orders became effective July 8. Face masks remain optional, but highly encouraged, for Ohio’s 81 other counties.
“Masking up helps keep our loved ones safe and our businesses open. We have been working with the Governor in recent days on an approach that is streamlined and consistent throughout Hamilton County, and support this step to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Said Hamilton County Commission President Denise Driehaus.
“I have the responsibility as a public servant to protect the people of Hamilton County. One small way to safeguard our residents from this deadly virus is to mandate wearing masks in public,” added Commission Vice President Stephanie Summerow Dumas
“I’ve seen the devastating effects COVID-19 has on families and communities. Requiring masks is a simple way to say we all have a role to play in preventing the spread; it’s a way to say I care about protecting others,’’ said Commissioner Victoria Parks.