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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Clearing up the confusion over mask mandates

Right now in Ohio, masks are required in counties that are at a Level 3 when it comes to risk under the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System.

Right now in Ohio, masks are required in counties that are at a Level 3 when it comes to risk under the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System

The mask order goes away when a county is moved to a level 2.

The state’s order says that a mask needs to be worn:

  • When they are in any indoor location that is not a residence
  • When they are outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household
  • When they are waiting for, riding, driving or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private care service, or a ride-sharing vehicle

The order does not apply to children under 10 as well as other exemptions listed in the order.

On Tuesday, the Franklin County Board of Health issued a new mandate. It aligns with the same rules as the state and does not modify the state’s orders. 

The Franklin County mandate is in place until further notice, meaning when the state’s mandate goes away, the county’s mandate will still need to be followed. 

So what about the cities in Franklin County? 10TV reached out to several surrounding cities. Many put their own requirements in place before the state did and are now reviewing these new mandates.

Hilliard, Dublin, Gahanna, Upper Arlington and Bexley are just a few of the cities aligning with the state’s order. Westerville is also aligned but is working with Franklin County Public Health to enforce mandates whether residents technically live in Franklin County or Delaware County.

The cities have posted statements, requirements and recommendations on their websites.

“The virus does not stay in a particular county,” Doctor Joseph Gastaldo said.

Dr.Gastaldo from OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital said the virus does not follow and it does not have boundaries.

That’s why he wants to continue reminding people, wherever they live, to follow safety precautions and be extra cautious.

“The predominant way how COVID-19 is transmitted is through droplets or microdroplets and wearing a mask is an important tool to help,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He said every single day, start with a new or sanitized mask.

“My recommendation is almost to think of masks as wearing underwear, everybody wears a new pair of underwear every day and it’s good to use a fresh laundered cloth mask on a daily basis,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He also wants to remind everyone to make sure the mask or cloth is covering the nose and mouth.

“A lot of times in public, I will see people with a mask below their nose or temporarily they’ll put it below their jaw as they talk and that is ineffective and that’s something that is potentially dangerous as people can get a false sense of security that they’re wearing a mask properly,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

The Franklin County Health Commissioner knows city leaders are confused about what mandates to enforce. We are told they plan on having a meeting to go over it.