DeWine Flips On Mandatory Face Masks

Apr 28, 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine has reversed his position on mandating face masks for customers. He says the state is still "strongly recommending" that everyone cover their face when they go out in public.

On Monday, DeWine said a major component of the state's plan to reopen businesses was to require all workers and customers to cover their face in some way, which commonly means using a face mask.

But 24 hours later, the governor changed that order.

"I heard from a lot of different people who felt that, 'I may wear a mask or I may not wear a mask but the government should not be telling me what to do,'" says DeWine.

The governor said the change was in the interest of avoiding another government mandate, but urged several times throughout his daily briefing that a face mask is still an important tool to keep a person's germs from spreading.

"It is my belief that the majority of Ohioans, when they go into a retail place, will wear a face covering because, I think, it's in their interest and I think they're also going to find it's in the interest of people who are working there," DeWine says.

He adds that business owners can still require workers and customers to wear masks.

Update:

The DeWine administration issued a press release after his daily briefing to announce that the state will once again mandate the use of face coverings for employees at the workplace.

"Face coverings would still be mandated for employees unless wearing a face covering is not advisable by a healthcare professional, goes against industry best practices, or is not permitted by federal or state laws and regulations," stated in the press release.