Ohio governor: Masks must be worn statewide, starts Thursday

A mandatory mask order will be expanded statewide across Ohio to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday.

Posted: Jul 23, 2020 8:06 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A mandatory mask order will be expanded statewide across Ohio to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday.

The mask mandate takes effect Thursday evening for everyone age 10 and older when they're out in public or in places where they can’t follow social distancing rules, DeWine said. It will not be required for children under 10 or anyone who has a medical condition that keeps them from wearing a mask.

The Republican governor's first try at a statewide requirement for wearing masks inside businesses — back in April — drew backlash that led him to rescind that directive the following day, a stutter among the aggressive moves that had won him early praise in his efforts to curb the virus. Mask-wearing also has been a point of contention at the Statehouse, where many Democratic lawmakers have donned masks while many Republican lawmakers have not.

DeWine had resisted calls for a statewide mask order in favor of a more tailored approach, focusing on the counties considered hot spots. Last week, he'd ordered residents in 19 counties, including almost 60% of the state’s population, to wear masks in public.

But he said Wednesday that more counties are seeing increasing case numbers, and that there are signs the rate of increase has slowed in counties where masks were required.

“It looks like wearing the masks is starting to have an effect,” he said.

The new mandate is to be enforced by state and local authorities, not by businesses.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, also a Republican, also issued a mask mandate Wednesday that begins next Monday. Ohio and Indiana follow neighboring Kentucky, where Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s mask order is being challenged in court.

Ohio has seen a steady increase in hospitalizations over the past two weeks, rising from 908 patients on July 9 to 1,098 as of Wednesday, DeWine said. Ohio also reported 1,527 more probable and confirmed coronavirus cases, its second-highest number so far, for a total of nearly 79,000 cases and about 3,200 deaths in the state.

DeWine issued a travel advisory that anyone coming into Ohio from a state that has a positive virus testing rate of 15% or higher is recommended to self-quarantine for at least 14 days.

He also said health officials are concerned about safety guidelines not being followed at county fairs across the state. An outbreak of 19 cases has been traced back to a county fair, DeWine said.

“We want fairs to continue, but I spoke with county fair managers today and expressed that they must follow the rules,” he added.

Lafayette
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 18°
Kokomo
Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 14°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 13°
Lafayette
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 18°
Danville
Mostly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 27°
Frankfort
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 16°
Frankfort
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 16°
Monticello
Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 15°
Monticello
Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 15°
Logansport
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Some snow Wednesday to Wednesday night.....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 614946

Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
Lake45784693
Allen33103560
Hamilton29752316
St. Joseph27572383
Elkhart24496346
Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
Porter14970172
Hendricks14550253
Madison11071223
Clark10852145
Vigo10819185
Monroe9496115
Delaware9193136
LaPorte9173164
Howard8325148
Kosciusko811485
Warrick683399
Hancock6783106
Bartholomew6659100
Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
Henry512365
Marshall507884
Dearborn488745
Cass487864
Noble476159
Jackson428747
Shelby423381
Lawrence395180
Clinton375845
Gibson375560
Harrison354046
DeKalb351365
Montgomery349754
Knox337839
Miami325244
Steuben315846
Whitley313126
Wabash306951
Adams303636
Ripley301646
Putnam299152
Huntington295760
Jasper293035
White275943
Daviess271776
Jefferson267738
Decatur249983
Fayette249949
Greene242763
Posey241828
Wells237551
LaGrange230363
Scott227939
Clay225032
Randolph215848
Jennings200937
Spencer193622
Sullivan193633
Washington189023
Fountain185227
Starke177044
Jay168723
Owen168338
Fulton165430
Orange161035
Carroll160616
Rush156418
Perry156129
Vermillion150034
Franklin149933
Tipton134433
Parke13098
Pike118826
Blackford112023
Pulaski97937
Newton92621
Brown88835
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin75013
Warren6867
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4967
Unassigned0375

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events