(7-26-21) Ohio Department of Health officials are leaving the decision of mask mandates to Ohio school districts but are encouraging vaccination for those who are eligible and masks for those who cannot be vaccinated.

Why no mandate? Senate Bill 22, which was passed recently, the bill now provides legislative oversight of health orders and not to the Governor.

Ohio Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff

“Our mask recommendation is based in science, but it is not a mandate.”

“Obviously, it will fall to the schools themselves and other entities to examine that information and make the decisions themselves,”

“The risks of COVID-19 are far worse than any risks from the vaccine.”

“The safety for Ohio’s children is paramount. They’re not invincible…just like adults, children get sick from COVID-19.”

“All signs point to this increase in cases being from the Delta variant. It simply takes less of this virus to spread from the mouth.”

Vanderhoff said the new COVID-19 guidance focuses on three factors: 

  • Strongly recommend vaccinations for all eligible students and staff 
  • Strongly recommend those who are unvaccinated consistently wear masks 
  • Strongly encourage hand washing, social distancing and other safety measures to prevent virus spread 

Today Celina City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Schmiesing verified a no mask mandate:

As of June 2, 2021, face masks have been optional for Celina City Schools students and staff. We have not had any problems with this in regards to operating our summer enrichment programs, which includes busing.

We continue to work closely with the Mercer County Health District, and feel that having the masks as being an option for Celina City Schools students and staff is the best decision for us at this time.

Also today…Parkway School Superintendent Jeanne Osterfeld said that masks will be optional and that no vaccines will be required for the start of the school year.


Dr. Sonja O’Leary, chair of the AAP Council on School Health Executive Committee

“A large portion of students are not eligible to be vaccinated and there are COVID variants that are more contagious,. Because of this and because we want to have all students in school, the AAP advocates for all students, teachers and staff to wear masks while indoors in school.”