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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a statewide mask mandate during his news conference on the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday. It goes into effect at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The news comes after three weeks of mandatory face coverings in counties in Level 3 of the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System, which determines COVID-19 risk.

“Wearing masks will make a difference. It will determine what our fall looks like. We want kids to go back to school, we want to see sports — to do that it’s very important that all Ohioans wear a mask,” DeWine said.

The mask order applies to those 10 years or older.

Masks must be worn:

  • At an indoor location that’s not a residence
  • Outdoors, when unable to keep 6 feet of social distance from those not in your household
  • When waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, including taxi, car service, private ride share


  • Those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability
  • Those who are actively exercising or playing sports
  • Those who are officiants at religious services
  • Those who are actively involved in public safety
  • Those who are actively eating or drinking

When DeWine unveiled guidelines for reopening businesses on April 27, he said masks would be required for customers and employees, adding, “No masks, no work, no service, no exception.

The following day, the governor changed course. He said the policy would apply just to workers.

“It was just too far,” DeWine said on April 28 about his own mask rule. “There were a significant amount of Ohioans who were offended about it and felt it was government overreach.”

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