Governor Mike DeWine clarified Ohio’s graduation and mask rules. At today’s COVID-19 briefing, he defended his decision not to make masks mandatory. He also spelled out what types of graduation ceremonies are allowed.
We break down what’s allowed at graduation. Plus, who will be required to wear masks at work and Scioto County’s COVID-19 cases climb to 8. Here are the five important points.
DeWine clarified the remarks he made yesterday about in-person high school graduation ceremonies. The Governor said that he had no objections to high schools holding ceremonies. But they must practice social distancing. Today he dialed that back a bit.
“Due to the infectiousness of COVID-19, this year has to be different. I have asked the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health to issue guidance for schools to follow.”
He issued the following guidelines:
- Most preferred is a virtual graduation
- Second in preference would be a drive-in type of ceremony
- Third in preference would be an event with 10 people or less at a time
The Governor warned against having graduation parties. “Remember our order prohibits the gathering of more than 10 people at a time. ”
Lt. Governor Jon Husted was also on hand to clarify the state’s stance on face coverings.
Husted said, “You have a Governor that listens. He tried to get the best advice from everyone.”
- Customers should wear face coverings. Customers are not required to wear face coverings.
- Employees are required to wear face coverings at work.
The following are exceptions to the rule:
- When an employee is prohibited by law or regulation from wearing a face-covering
- If it is not advisable for health purposes
- When it is a violation of safety policies
- If an employee is sitting alone in an enclosed workspace
- When there is a practical reason an employee can’t wear a face-covering for practical reasons
If you believe you qualify for these exemptions, you must provide written reasons upon request.
DeWine defended the decision not to make masks mandatory.
“This is something that a significant number of Ohioans would not accept. This was a bridge too far. A significant number of Ohioans felt that the government telling them to put on a mask before going into a store was offensive.”
However, the Governor said he was convinced that Ohioans would choose to wear masks if the state continued to explain why it was so important.
COVID -19 Numbers
Scioto County’s number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 8. Ohio’s number of suspected cases rose to 17,303.
- Cases Suspected – 17,303
Cases Confirmed – 16,601
- Deaths Suspected – 937
Deaths Confirmed – 856
- Hospitalizations – 3,421
ICU Admissions – 1,014
- Scioto County – 8 and 1 probable.
DeWine said there was good news on the PPE front.
“Last week we were able to ship 4.1 million pieces of PPE to local and state agencies across the State of Ohio.”
The PPE will be distributed by local EMAs to hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and to first responders.
“We will continue to distribute PPE to local EMAs when we get it in. We need to make sure we have the PPE that is necessary to protect our first responders and medical personnel. If we can find it, we’re gonna buy it. If we can’t buy it, we’re gonna see if we can get it made in Ohio.”
Law Enforcement Grants
Ohio has $16 million in grant funding available as part of the CARES Act. The following agencies can apply for grants
- Local law enforcement
- Probation and parole offices
- Local courts
- Victim services providers
- Adult, juvenile, community corrections agencies.
The money can be used for cleaning supplies, PPE, overtime costs, tech for a virtual court hearing, COVID-19 supplies, inmate medical treatment, and more.
Additionally, it can also be used for alternative housing for survivors of domestic violence. No local match is required. There is no deadline for applications and no cap in how much you can apply for.