FAQ: What do Ohioans need to know about masking right now?

COVID-19 mask generic
Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 18:39:36-04

CINCINNATI — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest COVID-19 guidance recommends people resume wearing masks in indoor spaces, regardless of whether they’re vaccinated. Many schools, stores and restaurants are changing their own rules in response.

It’s happening so fast, in fact, that it might be hard to figure out which rules apply to you.

Here’s what you should know if you live in Ohio.

Is there a mask mandate in Ohio?

Not anymore. Gov. Mike DeWine’s mask mandate — which required masking for most Ohioans in public places — was enacted July 23, 2020, and lifted June 2, 2021. The governor has not expressed interest in reviving it.

This means that additional masking rules in Ohio are coming from businesses and school districts, not from government.

But there is one notable exception.

What’s the exception?

Federal government rules require masks to be worn on all public transportation until Sept. 13, 2021. If you ride the bus, you should wear a mask.

Which businesses require me to wear a mask?

If you’re a customer, not many. The grocery chain Meijer will require shoppers to mask up, but shoppers at other large businesses such as Target and Kroger are merely “encouraged” to wear masks.

If you’re an employee, your workplace can require you to wear a mask while working.

Target will require all employees to mask up starting Aug. 3. Kroger requires unvaccinated employees to wear masks.

Does my child have to wear a mask at school?

That depends on the policy set by their individual district. If you’re unsure how to prepare your child for the upcoming school year, check their district’s website and social media to find the latest back-to-school masking and distancing guidance.