Gov. Mike DeWine has no immediate plans to lift Ohio’s mask mandate

Local News

FILE-This Wednesday, Nov.18, 2020 file photo shows Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine looking on during a press conference at Toledo Express Airport in Swanton, Ohio. DeWine is facing criticism from some Republicans over his handling of the pandemic, including statewide mask orders and a ban on alcohol sales after 10 p.m., leading to speculation he could face a primary challenger in 2022. (J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune via AP)

COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — A spokesman said Wednesday that Gov. Mike DeWine has no immediate plans to lift Ohio’s statewide mask mandate despite recent decisions to do so in Texas and other states.

Dan Tierney, the governor’s press secretary, said that even people who have been vaccinated could still transmit a weakened form of the coronavirus to someone at risk of a serious case of COVID-19.

Tierney said Ohioans still need to wear masks and socially distance until the state reaches a critical mass of people who have received the vaccine.

Texas and Mississippi have relaxed restrictions put in place because of the pandemic. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio’s Fourth District, in addition to former state treasurer Josh Mandel, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, have questioned why Ohio’s orders remain in place.

The governor — a Republican, like Jordan and Mandel — put the current mask order in place in July.

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