Gov. Mike DeWine’s usual Thursday COVID press conference is now a statewide address at 5:30pm. COVID hospitalizations are trending down, but while it’s unknown what DeWine might say, it seems unlike that he’ll announce Ohio will follow other states’ lead on mask mandates.
Some Republicans are pointing to Texas and Mississippi, which lifted their mask mandates this week, including one of the two candidates for the Republican nomination for US Senate next year.
I’m calling on Gov DeWine to immediately:
- Remove statewide mask mandate
- Remove all restrictions on businesses including capacity limits
- Require that all schools open for in-person instruction
- Re-open Ohio so our businesses & communities can thrive#Freedom #Liberty
— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) March 3, 2021
But DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said while there is more vaccine available and the window of eligibility has been expanded to people over 60 as well as other medical conditions and professions, there’s no timeline for dropping Ohio’s statewide mask requirement, which has been in place since July.
“We don’t have a firm date to say when we will get to where we need to be, where the vaccine has done its job and protected us in lieu of masks," Tierney said.
DeWine’s office says his statewide address, his third primetime speech of this pandemic, will continue “his conversation on where we are in our fight against the coronavirus and our progress towards reaching the end of the COVID pandemic."