Gov. Mike DeWine responds to possibility of new mask mandate for Ohio

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(WDTN Photo)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A new mask mandate is unlikely in Ohio despite COVID-19 cases being back on the rise.

Gov. Mike DeWine, speaking after an appearance at John Glenn International Airport, said Friday that he does not plan on reissuing a mask order.

He has hinted recently at a new incentive program for getting vaccinated but offered no details Friday. It would be similar to the Vax-a-Million program from the spring, but likely with smaller prizes.

A statewide mask order and several other pandemic health orders ended earlier this year. DeWine ended them several weeks before the General Assembly, using a law passed over DeWine’s veto, would have gained the ability to end health orders on their own.

The number of new cases in Ohio has been above the 21-day average for the past three days, with the latest data from the Department of Health expected later Friday afternoon.

On Wednesday, top state health officials expressed their concern over the Delta variant of COVID-19 and continued to encourage residents to get vaccinated. Through Thursday, 48.3% of the state’s population has at least started the vaccination process.

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