(Ohio) – Governor Mike DeWine announced a statewide mask mandate for students heading back to in-person school this fall.
The new mandate affects students in grades K-12. The previous guidelines indicated that only teachers and staff would be required to wear face-coverings with individual schools left to issue their own face-covering policies. According to reports, the state will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to distribute two million masks to schools.
The move comes following a statewide mask mandate introduced last week where officials noted the intent to fight the spread of COVID-19.
DeWine cited a letter from the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics in the announcement indicating the policy reflects expert recommendations. The letter also specifies exceptions to the rule for things such as medical issues or behavioral issues triggered by wearing a mask.
Additionally, officials note children with autism or extreme developmental delays will not be subject to the mandate.