Mask Advisory, but No Mandate for Columbus as COVID-19 Cases Climb

by J.D. Davidson


Ohio’s largest city is not considering another mask mandate despite recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a growing number of COVID-19 cases.

The city of Columbus has issued a mask advisory, urging masks indoors and in crowded places, despite vaccine statues, until further notice, Columbus Public Health spokeswoman Kelli Newman said.

The CDC rates Franklin County’s community level as high, recommending masks be worn indoors and on public transportation. It also recommends testing for those who have symptoms and taking additional precautions for those at high risk for severe illness.

“Protecting ourselves and our community from COVID-19 takes a multi-layered approach,” Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said. “The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from hospitalization and death from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and boosted. Wearing a mask and testing if you’re sick also will help slow down the spread.”

The city said there are no plans for a mandated mask order at this time.

The CDC rates COVID cases per county in low, medium and high categories. Franklin County is Ohio’s only county rated high with a case rate of 214 per 100,000 population. The CDC also shows 10.7 hospital admissions per 100,000 and 3.7% of staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

As of July 18, the positivity rate in Franklin County is 19.8%.

The CDC rates 28 other Ohio counties as medium, including all but one that boarders Franklin County in central Ohio.

In late February, Columbus Public Health recommended lifting the city’s mask mandate based on CDC guidance. The city ended the mandate nearly two weeks later.

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J.D. Davidson is a regular contributor to The Center Square. An Ohio native, Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas.
Photo “COVID-19 Mask” by Polina Tankilevitch.


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