Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Wednesday afternoon that the COVID-19 restrictions that are currently in place will end in three weeks, on June 2nd.
A state-wide mask mandate and other regulations have been active since July 2020.
“It’s time to end the health orders,” DeWine said in his state-wide address. “Now, lifting these orders does not mean the virus is gone. It does not mean we are all safe. Each Ohio citizen will make their own decisions about wearing a mask and social distancing — and when, for them, that’s appropriate,” he continued.
Cases and hospitalizations have been declining across the state in recent weeks. Because of this, DeWine has faced criticism for not ending the state-wide mask mandate and other provisions sooner.
DeWine highlighted that the widespread vaccination campaign has allowed for the removal of these health orders. Across the state, over 4 million individuals are fully vaccinated. An even larger number of individuals has received at least one dose of a vaccine. Additionally, the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for those ages 12 to 15 will soon be available across the state, as reported by The Ohio Star.
“As more and more eligible Ohioans get vaccinated, we’re seeing more and more signs that the tide of this pandemic is finally turning in our favor,” DeWine said.
DeWine ended his remarks by encouraging all Ohioans to get vaccinated. He announced various incentives for individuals who receive the coronavirus vaccine — including college scholarships for teenagers.
“Those who are not vaccinated remain prey to the virus. We hope for a good summer, but we also have to be able to get through the dark days of winter safely. To do that, we need a much higher percentage of Ohioans to be vaccinated,” DeWine warned.
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