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Tags: ohio | governor | mike dewine | schools | face masks | mandate | k-12

Ohio Governor to Mandate All K-12 Students Wear Masks

mike dewine looks up during a ohio news conference
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (Joshua A. Bickel/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 04 August 2020 05:53 PM EDT

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday said he will issue an order that requires all students in the state, kindergarten through 12th grade, wear facial coverings while in school to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Republican announced the mandate via a series of Twitter posts and cited Ohio Children's Hospital Association and the Ohio chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics' guidance issued Tuesday as justification to "[reduce] the chances of an infected individual passing the virus onto others."

"This gives us the best shot to keep Ohio's kids and educators safe and physically in school," DeWine wrote in his post.

The OCHA and AAP guidance lists five exemptions: children under 2; any child unable to remove the mask without assistance; a child with "significant behavioral/psychological issues undergoing treatment" that is worsened by the forced wearing of a mask; children with "severe autism or with extreme developmental delay" who might become agitated by wearing a mask; and any child with a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction.

School staff also will be required to wear masks.

The governor added the state will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to distribute 2 million masks to schools for use by students and staff. Ohio has nearly 1.7 million students in the public school system alone.

"We'll deliver these to regional education service centers serving as our distribution partners so schools and families have access to the resources they for the coming school year," he wrote.

In another series of Twitter posts, DeWine said the trend in the number of infections will influence how each school operates.

"It's incumbent upon us to make the sea that we are all swimming in as safe as we can," DeWine said according to Fox network Columbus, Ohio, affiliate WJW. "And what is going on in the community, as far as community spread, will directly impact what is going on in that school."

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Politics
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday said he will issue an order that requires all students in the state, kindergarten through 12th grade, wear facial coverings while in school to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
ohio, governor, mike dewine, schools, face masks, mandate, k-12, reopening
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2020-53-04
Tuesday, 04 August 2020 05:53 PM
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