DeWine: Nearly 58% of Ohio students under mask mandate

Nearly 58% of Ohio’s public K-12 students are required by their local school to wear masks in the classroom, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday.

On Sept. 1, only 35% of Ohio students were required to wear a mask.

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“I am pleased to see more school superintendents and school boards make the right decision and require masks to protect students and teachers from COVID-19 spread,” said DeWine stated in a release. “We share a common goal of ensuring kids are in school, in person, five days a week. While vaccinations remain the best protection against severe COVID-19 cases, masking will help protect those that can’t yet receive the vaccine and adds another layer of protection for those that have.”

Mask policies are working to limit the spread of the coronavirus in schools, the release stated.

DeWine said earlier this week that data from the first two, three weeks of school clearly show there is a higher level of COVID in school districts where masks are not required.

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“It is abundantly clear … that the way you keep kids in school is to keep them masked,” DeWine said during a Tuesday afternoon press briefing with children’s hospital representatives about the effect of COVID on pediatric hospitals and clinics. “Vaccinate them if you can vaccinate them, if they are 12 and above, and then if they’re not vaccinated, have them wear a mask.”

In addition, districts with mask mandates have fewer quarantines, which means more children stay in the classroom, the release said.

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