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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Tuesday he would implement a state order requiring masks for all students and employees at school.

He did want to make clear though, that he is not considering a mandate to keep schools closed.

“The pathway to go to school this year and to make and to be back in school is not going to be easy. The COVID is here. We know that,” Gov. DeWine said.

“We will all learn from what’s going to happen in the coming weeks.”

ohio lt. gov. jon husted

“We know that masks work. And what you see from schools is that they’re going to be doing some are going to be doing five days a week. Some are going to be doing a hybrid model. Some are going to be doing distance learning. And none of us know what to expect from any of those situations because we’ve never been through it before with COVID. We will all learn from what’s going to happen in the coming weeks. And schools and families and leaders will be able to adjust to what we see happening on the ground,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.

Without a vaccine, Gov. DeWine said masks and social distancing are the only things we can control.

“If everybody wears a mask, we’ll be a lot safer in the building,” the governor said.

“we know with the COVID virus out there, there will be there will be some spread. There will be some in school, we just know that,” he continued.

DeWine says individual school districts are developing plans with their health departments about how they will handle things when there are positive cases in the schools.

He says those decisions should be made at the local level.