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Inoculated Ohioans can take off masks

Governor adjusts state requirement to follow federal health guidelines

Those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer have to wear face masks except in certain indoor situations.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday the state will follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to no longer require the masks. Those who aren’t vaccinated still need to wear a mask and socially distance, he said.

“The CDC still recommends everyone wear masks when they are in a health care setting, when they are traveling on public transportation, including airplanes, and when they are in a business or employer that chooses to require masks,” DeWine said. “Our order will be amended to reflect these recommendations.”

The CDC announced Thursday people who are fully vaccinated don’t have to wear masks outdoors or in numerous indoor places.

DeWine said Friday: “Businesses also have every right to continue to use masks and require them for employees and customers. The experience in other states has been that some individuals may choose to wear masks.”

While those who haven’t been fully vaccinated are required to wear face masks, Dan Tierney, DeWine’s spokesman, acknowledged no proof of a vaccination is needed.

“The CDC made it a matter of personal responsibility” and the state is doing the same, Tierney said.

DeWine urged people to get vaccinated.

“The vaccine is our path out of the pandemic, and it is our best protection against the virus,” he said. “We are on the offense, and the science is unequivocal. Vaccines are our best weapon to fight COVID-19 and save lives.”

DeWine said Wednesday he was eliminating all COVID-19 pandemic health orders, except those for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, starting June 2 with case numbers seeing a significant reduction. But the number of people getting vaccinated during the past four weeks also has declined.

He said Friday: “The June 2 date I announced for the removal of health orders provided time for those who had not yet gotten their vaccine to get it. While our order will be amended to reflect the new CDC guidance, it will remain in place until June 2.”

Saying he wanted to encourage people to get inoculated, DeWine also announced the state would have five weekly drawings, starting May 26, with a prize of $1 million each for those at least 18 years old who have received at least one dose of the vaccine by the time of the drawing. The money is coming from unspent federal COVID-19 relief funds.

COVID-19 DATA

The 1,014 new cases reported Friday was down from the daily average of 1,307 for the past 21 days, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Cases have been below 1,500 per day since May 2.

The state had a total of 1,089,357 COVID-19 cases as of Friday with 1,042,938 presumed recovered and 19,528 dead.

The ODH provides death information on Tuesdays and Fridays.

There were 87 deaths since Tuesday. There hasn’t been a new COVID-19 death in the Mahoning Valley in a week.

Mahoning County had 21,735 total COVID-19 cases as of Friday with 20,494 presumed recovered and 588 deaths, according to the ODH.

Trumbull County had 16,141 total COVID-19 cases as of Friday with 15,233 presumed recovered and 468 deaths.

Columbiana County had 8,859 total COVID-19 cases as of Friday with 8,399 presumed recovered and 229 deaths.

VACCINATIONS

There were 4,934,947 people, 42.22 percent of the state’s population, who at least had started getting inoculated as of 6 a.m. Friday, including 20,411 in the previous 24 hours, according to the ODH.

In Mahoning County, 41.48 percent of the population (94,866 people) had received at least one dose with 39.54 percent of the population in Trumbull County (78,272 people) and 33.78 percent in Columbiana County (34,416 people) as of 6 a.m. Friday, according to the ODH.

There were 4,320,777 people, 36.96 percent of the state’s population, who finished the vaccinations as of 6 a.m. Friday, including 27,953 in the prior 24 hours.

In Mahoning County, 36.28 percent of the population (82,965 people) had completed the process, while 34.21 percent of the population in Trumbull (67,723 people) and 30.05 percent of the population in Columbiana (30,615 people) had as of 6 a.m. Friday.

The Trumbull County Combined Health District has COVID-19 vaccination clinics next week.

It will offer the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Monday at its offices, 176 Chestnut Ave. NE, Warren. The clinics are for those at least 18 years old.

It also will have Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines at clinics at the former Lane Bryant space at the Eastwood Mall in Niles, near center court, 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday and 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. The Pfizer vaccine can be given to those as young as 12 years of age.

People can either register for the clinics online at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov or walk in.

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