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Gov. DeWine orders children to wear masks as schools reopen

COLUMBUS (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine issued a health order Tuesday requiring masks for children returning to in-person classes this fall.

 

The governor pleaded with concerned parents and educators across the state to abide by the state’s health orders as K-12 schools begin to open.

 

During his briefing Tuesday, DeWine said the mask order for students “gives us the best shot to keep Ohio’s kids and educators safe and physically in school.”

 

New cases in Ohio remain high, with 1,143 reported Tuesday, up from over 900 on Monday, marking a 21-day daily case average of 1,291.

 

“We all are trying to bring certainty to something we quite candidly cannot bring certainty to,” DeWine said. “We cannot know what the next 3 weeks will bring let alone for the next 3 months or 6 months or 9 months of school.”

 

DeWine believes, similarly to the statewide mask orders, there needs to be a localized approach to the reopening of schools, as each district “faces a new reality.”

 

Health officials believe community spread in individual school districts will dictate the outbreaks their schools will face.

 

The state plans to deliver 2 million masks given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to regional education service centers, which will distribute to schools across the state, DeWine said.