Ohio’s statewide pandemic health orders have expired. And while the mask mandate has also been lifted, doctors say there are people who should still be wearing masks.
Dr. Patty Manning-Courtney with Cincinnati Children's Hospital says there are children there right now who are quite sick with COVID. And since kids 11 and under cannot be vaccinated, she says they should still wear masks, just as before.
“When they are out in crowds, out in public, out in stores, out at events, they should be masked and we are of the belief that parents and family members should mask along with them. It’s just the only way to protect that population," Manning-Courtney says.
She and other doctors say kids, unvaccinated people, those who are older or have poor immune systems are still in danger of catching COVID and note there are new highly-contagious variants out there. More than 5.3 million Ohioans have received at least partial vaccines at this point but doctors say that rate needs to climb significantly before herd immunity could possibly be achieved.
Some Ohio politicians, including Republican Attorney General Dave Yost and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, have posted video of themselves burning masks on social media. Manning-Courtney says she regrets that type of messaging and says Ohioans should be encouraged to wear masks if they are at risk of contracting COVID.