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DeWine issues mask mandate for seven counties

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Tuesday that the state Department of Health will mandate the use of face coverings in public for all counties designated as Alert Level 3.

The designation covers seven counties on the state’s alert system: Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Montgomery and Trumball.

The order was set to take effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“This order will stay in effect as long as these counties are in a red level or if they increase to the Purple Alert Level 4,” DeWine said. “If the counties drop to a Level 2, the requirement will drop off.”

DeWine outlined the situations when masks are required.

“When they are in any indoor location that is not a residence,” he said. “When they are outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; or when they are waiting for, riding, driving or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private care service or a ride-sharing vehicle.”

The governor said the order does not apply to children under the age of 10 or any other minor who cannot safely wear a face covering.

The alert level system was unveiled last week by the governor and the Department of Health. The mapping system is to be updated every Wednesday.

Locally, Lawrence and Scioto counties are listed as Level Two on the current map, with Gallia and Jackson counties at Level One, the lowest designation.
No counties in Ohio are listed as Level Four, the most severe designation.