Ohio's coronavirus mask mandate, most health orders have ended
Ohio's mask mandate, along with most of the remaining coronavirus health orders, expired Wednesday.
Starting Wednesday, there is no state order requiring nonvaccinated adults to wear face coverings indoors or bars and restaurants to space out tables. State-set restrictions have waned in recent months: first in February with the elimination of the curfew and most recently with exemptions for fully vaccinated people.
The mask order was in place since July 23, 2020. DeWine announced May 12 the orders would come off in three weeks, despite not yet meeting his goal of 50 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the previous two weeks. A few days later, DeWine halted enforcement of the mask mandate at retail businesses.
Most local mask ordinances have ended or are set to expire with the state order. Columbus' order remains in place, but city council could vote to repeal it on Monday.
Businesses, organizations and schools can set their own requirements for masking and social distancing. And the federal Transportation Security Administration's mask requirement for airports, airplanes, trains buses and rail systems is in place through September.
What COVID-19 health orders ended
The following orders and restrictions expired at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday morning:
- an order for bars and restaurants requiring space or partitions between patrons, patrons must be seated while eating and drinking and masks be worn inside when not seated.
- the statewide mandate requiring unvaccinated Ohioans wear masks indoors.
- the recommendation that unvaccinated individuals gather in groups no larger than 10 people.
- the state's mask mandate for everyone on planes, trains, buses and public transportation (the federal transportation mandate remains in place).
- capacity restrictions on indoor sports and entertainment venues.
An order signed Monday separately repealed other orders including the order requiring masking and distancing in child care and K-12 schools.
What COVID-19 health orders stay in place
The state will keep health orders for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as orders pertaining to data collection. Those include requiring long-term care facilities to notify residents and their families of COVID-19 cases and requiring K-12 schools to report cases and notify parents.
The governor's state of emergency declaration, which is tied to various forms of assistance, will continue. On Thursday, Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud said she hadn't yet talked with DeWine or legal counsel about when the state of emergency might end.