Franklin County rescinds mask order

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Franklin County Board of Health voted Monday to do away with the county’s mask order.

The board of health said the change does not affect statewide health orders, which are also set to expire for vaccinated adults on June 2.

“We understand the confusion our residents may be having with respect to interpreting federal, state, and local guidance regarding masking,” the board wrote when announcing the change.

The county’s face mask order has been in place since July 14, 2020.

The Ohio health orders still require face coverings and other health orders for the state’s K-12 schools.

The move comes as Franklin County remains red on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System for the spread of COVID-19.

The board of health said the county is experiencing 102 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and that only 40 percent of the county’s population is fully vaccinated.

The board recommends that businesses, schools, and organizations ask employees, visitors, and customers to wear masks while inside their facilities.

“None of these actions should signify that the pandemic is over,” the board wrote.

The full announcement from the Franklin County Board of Health is below:

To align with the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, the Franklin County Board of Health voted tonight to rescind its mask order originally adopted on July 14, 2020.  As a reminder, the Ohio Department of Health Second Amended Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating remains in effect until June 2. To maintain consistency and model safe behavior for Ohio’s students, these changes do not affect the existing orders and guidance from the State of Ohio requiring the use of facial coverings and other health protocols in our K-12 schools.

None of these actions should signify that the pandemic is over. Franklin County is still “red” in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. Our community is currently experiencing a high incidence of disease activity with 102 cases per 100,000 while only 40% of our residents are completely vaccinated. Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) advises businesses, schools, and organizations to request all employees, visitors and customers continue to wear masks inside their facilities to the greatest extent possible. Residents 12 and over are also urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and others.

We understand the confusion our residents may be having with respect to interpreting federal, state and local guidance regarding masking. As the CDC describes, “people can still get sick and possibly spread COVID-19 to others after being fully vaccinated…CDC recommends people continue to take everyday actions to protect themselves and others.” The bottom line is for those unvaccinated, get vaccinated as soon as possible and continue following public health recommendations. For those vaccinated, consider your personal situation and the risk to family, friends, and community with regards to masking. However, with high incidence of COVID-19 still in Franklin County, fully vaccinated individuals should continue to wear a mask as appropriate in crowds. Everyone should continue to wash their hands frequently and stay home if they are sick.

There are many quick, easy and convenient locations where COVID-19 vaccinations are available.  Please visit our website for information or call 1-833-ASK-ODH. If you know of someone who is homebound and still needs a vaccination, please fill out a request form so we can help get them vaccinated.

Continue to visit our website and social media channels for new and updated information about COVID-19.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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