Governor Mike DeWine announced a new face mask rule for school students (K-12) in Ohio. There are no blanket exceptions for kids coping with breathing issues like asthma either. He also announced that Dr. Amy Acton had resigned from her position with the state.
Additionally, Scioto County added 9 new cases of COVID-19 today.
DeWine adjusted the state’s mask guidelines to include mandatory masks for all Ohio school kids Kindergarten through 12th grade. “I’m announcing today that we will be issuing an order that reflects this policy statewide. This gives us the best shot to keep Ohio’s kids and educators safe and physically in school.”
DeWine said the rule came after conferring with doctors and scientists. “The Ohio Children’s Hospital Association & Ohio Pediatrician jointly recommended masks for all kids returning to school.” Previously, elementary-aged kids were excluded from mandatory masking.
The Governor said he understands that parents are worried about the uncertainty of sending kids back to school. “I know there is a great deal of frustration among Ohio citizens today because of the uncertainty. We cannot know what the next 3 weeks will bring. Let alone for the next 3 months, 6 months, or 9 months of school.”
The only exceptions for masks are as follows:
- Kids two and under
- If a child can’t remove a mask without help
- Under treatment for a significant behavioral or psychological issue
- Severe autism or extreme developmental delay
- Facial deformity causing airway obstruction
No Exception For Asthma
Pediatricians warned parents not to seek exemptions for kids just because getting a kid to mask up is a challenge. “Families may struggle to get their child to wear a face-covering/mask. The challenges to accomplishing this for their child may lead them to seek an inappropriate exemption for the child upon returning to school.”
There are no blanket exemptions for:
- Sinus infections
Governor DeWine released a ranking of Ohio counties by the highest occurrence of new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks.
Scioto County ranked 22 out of 88 Counties with 70 new cases in the past two weeks.
Scioto EMA Director Larry Mullins reported 9 additional COVID-19 cases today. The new cases bring the total to 204.
Acton Leaves State Employment
Governor DeWine announced that Dr. Amy Acton decided to leave state employment and return to her previous job at the Columbus Foundation.
Acton stepped down as Ohio’s Health Director in mid-June. However, she stayed on as an advisor to Governor DeWine. The governor said she told him yesterday that she wanted to go back to her old job. “While it saddens me that she will be leaving my office, she has assured me that she is just a phone call away. She will be available to continuing advising us as we move through this pandemic.”