COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the end of the state’s COVID-19 health orders effective June 2 during his statewide address on Wednesday.
The remaining health order includes masks in public, social distancing and limits on large gatherings. Orders for nursing homes and assisted living facilities will still be in effect.
“It’s time to end the health orders. It’s been a year. You’ve followed the protocols. You’ve done what we’ve asked. You’ve bravely fought this virus,” DeWine said.
The governor said Ohio businesses and schools will make their own decisions about how to best keep their customers, employees, and students safe. “Lifting these health orders will not prevent a business from imposing its own requirements,” DeWine said.
The governor said the three weeks will give Ohioans additional time to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
He cited a recent study from the Cleveland Clinic that between Jan. 1 and April 13, 99.75 percent of the people hospitalized there for COVID-19 had not been vaccinated.
“While we have this great weapon, the danger of remaining unvaccinated is crystal clear. The virus is still here. Our cases are down, but that’s only because 42 percent of our entire population has now been vaccinated and can no longer get it and can no longer spread it.
DeWine had previously set a goal of 50 cases per 100,000 to lift remaining health orders. As of Wednesday, the state was at 123 cases per 100,000. Ohio was at 731 cases per 100,000 on Dec. 3; 445 per 100,000 on Feb. 3; and 179 on March 3.