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Health department: A statewide mask mandate is still in effect for Ohio

Many people have asked 10TV if the state mask mandate has been lifted. The short answer is no.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Many people have asked 10TV asking if the mask mandate in Ohio has been lifted.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, the short answer is no.

This week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced health orders were being simplified.

To do that, the old health orders had to be rescinded and the new version had to be put in place - which still requires wearing masks and social distancing in public.

On Thursday, DeWine said Ohio is going in the wrong direction in terms of case numbers to reach a goal of removing state health orders by July 4.

Franklin County is the only county in the state on a watch list for going from red to purple, the highest tier in the COVID-19 health advisory system.

“The statewide average for cases per 100,000 is 183,” said DeWine. “This is a race, it’s a life and death race.”

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the Chief Medical Director Ohio Department of Health, said there’s another reason you’d want to hold onto your mask a little longer.

“I am confident that we will see more and more and quite frankly within the next couple of weeks the variant will be the virus that we will be dealing with,” he said.

“We can win the race as long as we don’t falter. As long as we continue to press on with consistent masking and getting the vaccine,” said Vanderhoff.