Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced that the Ohio Department of Health is issuing an order mandating mask-wearing in public spaces for counties at Level 3, or color red, on Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System.
The order will impact Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Montgomery, and Trumbull counties, which are the seven counties currently at Level 3 on the Public Health Advisory System.
DeWine said during a press conference that the order will go into effect at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8.
“Primarily this will be when they are in a public space inside. A restuarant, bar, jewelry store, some other place in public,” DeWine said.
“This order will stay on as long as that county is at a red level or purple level,” DeWine added. “We certainly hope that these counties will drop out of that level, and if they do our current order says that the mandate of the masks in public will go off. So this is aimed specifically at the seven counties where we are the most concerned.”
DeWine said the order doesn’t mean people outside of these seven counties shouldn’t wear masks.
“It does not mean people should not wear a mask, or we wouldn’t ask them to wear a mask in every other county. We think it’s a good way for your county not to get into that red category. But it is only going to be required in those seven counties,” DeWine said.
In those seven counties, people will need to wear a mask in the following circumstances:
- When in any indoor location that is not a residence
- When outdoors and not able to consistently maintain a distance of 6 feet from other individuals not members of same household
- While waiting for, or riding, driving, or operating, public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing vehicles
Residents of other counties that fall under the Level 3, or red, category will also be required to wear masks while in public.
The order does not apply to children under the age of 10, or any other person who cannot safely wear a face covering, or if a person’s physician advises against them wearing a mask.
Workers alone in a workspace also do not have to wear a mask, but they must wear one if other individuals enter the indoor area.