(8-18-21) Ohio Governor Mike DeWine addressed the state yesterday about his concern for COVID 19 and the delta variant. DeWine encouraged parents to have their child ren wear masks during school. The Governor did not impose a mandate on anything he ‘suggested’ today. Most likely recently passed legislation had a lot to do with that, basically taking away his powers to enact those mandates.

From the Governor’s Address –

Today in Ohio, we are facing a perfect storm. Just as our kids are back to school, the new delta variant is sweeping across our state taking direct aim at all of those who are not vaccinated.

On July 7, our cases were at 17 cases statewide per 100,000 people for a two-week period. Today, that number is 236 per 100,000 people. Every county in the state is considered a high incidence county.

To our Ohio parents: If your child’s school is not requiring masks, you still have the right to have your child wear a mask. We want our kids in school, to play sports, to be in the band, to be on the debate team, to be learning, to be happy, to be healthy.

The best way to prevent your kids from missing school and other activities is to send them to school with a mask. And if they’re 12 or older, to get them vaccinated as soon as you can. http://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

Without something to stop the virus, it will dramatically increase the number of students who have to quarantine and will dramatically decrease the number of schools that can continue in person.

Our children simply cannot afford another disruptive school year. We need them in the classroom. And the real tragedy of all of this, it’s the children who will suffer when schools shut down. They’re the ones who will get further and further behind.

To all those who are making decisions right now about our schools, if you are not requiring masks, please think about this again. At the very least, consider requiring masks for the next few weeks when we know the spread level will be very high.

You can always go back to not wearing masks when the spread has reduced. With increasing numbers of new #COVID19 cases and hospitalizations, this is the time to take precautions, not the time to take them away.

We are clearly well past the time when the state can mandate to parents and school districts what actions to take. These decisions today rest with the parents and school officials.