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Vaccinated Ohioans will no longer need masks, DeWine says; state following CDC guidance

Those who are unvaccinated should still continue to wear masks and stay six feet apart until June 2, when health orders in Ohio are set to be lifted.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's remaining health orders will be amended to comply with new CDC guidance, which states that those who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday.

Those who have not been vaccinated should still wear a mask and socially distance. 

A spokesperson with the governor's office said the order is actively being worked on and the official announcement could come late Friday or sometime on Saturday.

The CDC still recommends everyone wear masks when they are in a healthcare setting, while using public transportation and when they are in a business that chooses to require masks. 

DeWine noted the state's mask order would be amended to reflect those recommendations as well. 

"The most powerful tool we have to protect against the COVID-19 virus is the vaccine. Because of the vaccine, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are decreasing dramatically. The vaccine allows us to live our lives more normally and without fear," DeWine said.

The governor said that the June 2 date he set on Wednesday for the removal of all health orders still applies to those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The three-week heads-up gives Ohioans time to get started on the vaccination process before the pandemic health orders are lifted.

“As I said in my address to Ohioans on Wednesday, the more individuals who get vaccinated, the more the entire state is protected from the virus. The vaccine is our path out of the pandemic, and it is our best protection against the virus," DeWine said in a press release.

The governor reminded Ohioans Friday that there are still people who are not eligible to be vaccinated, including those younger than the age of 12. 

Again, those who have not been vaccinated should continue to wear masks pursuant to CDC recommendations. 

DeWine also said that businesses have the right to continue to use masks and to require them for both employees and customers.

WTOL has reached out to the governor's office for comment. We will continue to keep you updated.