Statehouse News Bureau |
Saying the coronavirus is “more intense, widespread and dangerous” than it’s every been and that every single county has a high rate of virus spread, Gov. Mike DeWine announced two new health orders on masks and social gatherings. And he hinted at more to come.
DeWine announced a new mask order with three components:
- Businesses must post signs requiring facial coverings;
- Each store will have to ensure customers and employees are wearing masks;
- And Bureau of Workers Compensation agents will be inspecting stores to ensure compliance.
A first violation will result in a written warning, with a second violation forcing the closure of the store for up to 24 hours.
What about schools?
Gov. DeWine lightly touched on the subject of keeping Ohio’s schools with the following statement about 20 minutes into his speech:
“We must wear our masks to keep our kids in school. Our K-12 schools are doing a phenomenal job. I thank them. I thank everyone in the schools. I believe that most children are simply better off in school than learning remotely. However, as the increasing surge threatens school district’s ability to keep teachers in the classroom, some schools are starting to shift to virtual learning. We must do everything in our power to slow this virus down so our kids can stay in school. It is up to each and every one of us. What you do in the community – what we all do in the community – impacts whether our kids will be able to stay in school. Because no matter how good the schools are, they cannot overcome widespread COVID in the community. It will get into the schools.”Governor DeWine, Wednesday, November 11th, 2020
DeWine also announced a new order on social gatherings, where experts say much of the spread of COVID-19 is happening. He noted “rampant spread” as a result of wedding receptions, banquets, and gatherings after funerals.
A new health order in the next few days will restrict people mingling in open congregate areas. Everyone must be seated and masked unless they’re eating or drinking. Dancing and games will not be permitted.
DeWine also noted that many colleges and universities are wrapping up their first semesters with remote learning. And he said that unless the spread slows dramatically, “higher education institutions may have to remain virtual when school opens in January.”