Ohio amends health order to comply with CDC; no masks needed for fully-vaxed

Ohio has amended the current health order to comply with the new CDC mask guidance issued Thursday, which said fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks.

READ: Amended Health Order

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  • Unvaccinated Ohioans will still need to wear masks until the Ohio Department of Health lifts the health order on June 2.
  • The new CDC guidance on Thursday also said fully-vaccinated people no longer need to physically distance in any setting.
  • DeWine said schools are still required to have students and teachers wear masks. After June 2, if a school district is still in session, they can change their policy on masks when the state health orders expire. DeWine said they’d like individual school districts to finish out the school year with everyone wearing masks, but the choice lies with the individual districts after the health orders expire.
  • The only exception the CDC included in its guidance involved public transportation. “All travelers are required to wear a mask on all planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations,” the CDC said.
  • It will still be up to private businesses and organizations whether to require masks of their customers and visitors. Some chains have already said they will continue requiring masks in Ohio.
  • All other health orders will be removed on June 2 as planned, with the exception of those related to nursing homes and assisted living centers.

Gov. Mike DeWine issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

“Ohio will be amending our remaining health orders to comply with the new CDC guidance, which says that those who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, while those who have not been vaccinated should still wear a mask and socially distance.

“The CDC still recommends everyone wear masks when they are in a healthcare setting, when they are travelling on public transportation, including airplanes, and when they are in a business or employer that chooses to require masks. Our order will be amended to reflect these recommendations, as well.

“The most powerful tool we have to protect against the COVID-19 virus is the vaccine. Because of the vaccine, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are decreasing dramatically. The vaccine allows us to live our lives more normally and without fear.

“As I said in my address to Ohioans on Wednesday, the more individuals who get vaccinated, the more the entire state is protected from the virus. The vaccine is our path out of the pandemic, and it is our best protection against the virus. We are on the offense, and the science is unequivocal: Vaccines are our best weapon to fight COVID-19 and save lives!

“However, not all Ohioans have been vaccinated yet. The June 2nd date I announced for the removal of health orders provided time for those who had not yet gotten their vaccine to get it. While our order will be amended to reflect the new CDC guidance, it will remain in place until June 2nd.

“Further, we must remember, that we still have Ohioans who are not eligible to be vaccinated, including those younger than 12 years-of-age. Individuals who have not been vaccinated should continue to wear masks pursuant to CDC recommendations. Businesses also have every right to continue to use masks and to require them for employees and customers. The experience in other states has been that some individuals may choose to wear masks, and many businesses, schools, hospitals, and other employers may choose to require masks in their buildings. That will remain their choice.

“Regardless of the new CDC guidance, this fact remains clear: The most powerful thing anyone can do to end this pandemic is to get vaccinated.”