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Ohioans' Have Mixed Reactions as State Mask Mandate Set to End

woman in face mask
Juraj Varga
Despite the state ending its mask mandate and other COVID-19 health regulations, businesses and schools can decide whether to still require masking, and individuals can choose whether to wear them.

The vast majority of pandemic-related health orders, including the state’s mask mandate, will be lifted Wednesday.

Many businesses will no longer require masks for customers or employees who are fully vaccinated. For those who are unvaccinated, they’ll leave that as just a recommendation.

But this ease in restrictions doesn’t mean that everyone is ready to go without a mask. At a Memorial Day Parade in Suffield Township this week, veteran Daniel Mencer said it’s a habit he’s not ready to give up, at least, not right away.

“Eventually I'll let it go, but a lot of places still got signs up, 'Wear your mask,' which I agree,” he said.

Field Local Schools is among school districts making masks optional. Randy Ewing, who was also at the parade, is a bus driver for the elementary school. He’s excited about the change.

“So, it's great. I'm going to get to see their faces again. Looking forward to that," he said.

While most health orders are being lifted, some regarding congregate living and health settings will remain in place.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.
A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.