During his daily press conference on COVID-19 in Ohio, Governor DeWine walked back an order that mandated all customers wear masks when shopping inside a store. He said after further discussion and hearing from many Ohioans, he's determined it should not be mandatory, but said facial coverings are still strongly recommended.
"In the last 24 hours it has really become clear to me that the mandatory mask requirement for people who are shopping is offensive to some of our fellow Ohioans," said DeWine.
He cited a phone call he received from the mother of a child with autism who explained to him why mandatory facial coverings were not functional for all Ohioans.
"She talked about her son, who is autistic, and she explained to me how he saw things, how he felt things and that that presented a real problem for him," said DeWine.
He emphatically reminded viewers, however, that masks and face coverings are highly recommended for those who do not have an issue wearing them, because they will help keep workers in retail and other industries safer as they go back to work.
Future steps to reopening Ohio
DeWine also announced he has formed citizen-comprised coalitions of workers, business owners and others who know the restaurant industry and the salon and barber shop industry well. He said these citizens will get together and think through the challenges those industries face amid mandatory social distancing, and report their ideas back to DeWine in a week.
He did not lay out any specific plans for the timeline this process will follow, or when those industries could be allowed to reopen.
New symptoms officially tied to COVID-19
Dr. Amy Acton said during the press conference that, according to the CDC, there have been new symptoms attributed to COVID-19.
She said that, in addition to the previous symptoms of fever, shortness of breath and a dry cough, the symptoms have become more varied. Some patients with COVID-19 develop a fever early, but many never develop a fever at all. Chills and shaking, typically associated with a fever, have also been seen in patients who are not feverish.
Muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat are now among the list of symptoms currently associated with a patient infected with COVID-19. Dr. Acton also said that, officially, a loss of taste and smell have been linked to the virus after several patients exhibited these symptoms.
News for school graduations
In response to a question asked by a reporter, DeWine said he believes it could be possible for schools to come up with a way to hold graduation ceremonies while still maintaining social distancing guidelines.
DeWine said much of whether or not a school can safely and adequately hold a graduation while adhering to the rules will depend on the school. Larger schools with a higher number of students may struggle with this, he said.
"They've got to be careful," he said. "It's got to be well thought out."
But, he said, ultimately, if a school can find a way to hold graduation and still manage the size of the gathering and social distance rules, "it might be an OK thing to do."