Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday said his state will maintain its mask mandate to prevent the spread of COVID-19, insisting “we can’t give up the defense.”
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” DeWine said “we have found that these masks work exceedingly well.”
“In Ohio, we can't give up the defense,” he said, offering the return of students to in-person learning and the reopening of retail stores in his state as examples of safe reopenings.
“We have found that these masks work exceedingly well, schools are a prime example,” he said. “We've seen it in retail, 93% of Ohioans when they go into a retail establishment are wearing masks, so they've done a phenomenal job. Our teachers have done a phenomenal job in school. We know this makes a huge, huge difference.”
According to DeWine, the state set a goal that when it gets to 50 cases per 100,000 for every two weeks, the orders will be taken off.
“We're still at a fairly high level, we're at 179 cases per 100,000 for two weeks,” he said, adding it is, however, a big improvement from the over 700 cases per 100,000 in December.
He added that he’s also hopeful all children will be back in schools — despite pushback from the Cleveland Teachers Union, which is demanding COVID-19 vaccinations before returning.
“If you go back to the beginning of this year half our kids in Ohio were totally remote. Today 95% of them are in class,” he said. “So we're excited about where we are. We made a deal,… if you'll go back into school and we made them all sign a paper… by March 1, we'll vaccinate everyone in your school who wants to. It's worked exceedingly well.”
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