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Government & Politics

New Bill Would Ban or Limit Mask Mandates in Ohio's Schools and Businesses

face masks
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
The state legislature is considering a bill that would make it illegal for public schools, colleges and businesses in Ohio to require face masks and only give local health departments the power to do so.

Ohio’s COVID-19 rates are on an upward trend, and less than half of the state’s residents have been vaccinated. Still, some lawmakers want to make sure Ohioans who don’t want to get vaccinated or don’t want to wear masks won’t feel compelled to do so. The latest bill would keep schools and businesses from requiring masks for entry. 

Republican Sen. Andrew Brenner’s (R-Delaware) bill (SB 209) would ban public schools and colleges from requiring masks in their buildings. Only local health departments could issue mask orders. And Brenner said businesses that require masks would have to make exceptions for people who have medical conditions. 

“I have had too many constituent complaints, including people in wheelchairs and so forth who are not supposed to be wearing masks being told by businesses that they cannot enter those facilities without a mask on, even if they had a medical exception. That’s ridiculous," Brenner said.

Ohio’s statewide mask mandate expired June 2, and Gov. Mike DeWine says he is not interested in resurrecting it now. 
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.