Gov DeWine orders children to wear masks as Ohio schools reopen

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WANE) — Gov. Mike DeWine has issued a health order requiring masks for children returning to in-person classes this fall.

The governor pleaded with concerned parents and educators across the state to abide by the state’s health orders as schools begin to open.

The order on Tuesday comes as the school season begins even as cases of the coronavirus in Ohio continue to rise, reaching more than 95,000 statewide as of Tuesday.

The order includes the following exceptions:

  1. Children under the age of 2 years old
  2. Any child unable to remove the face covering without assistance
  3. A child with a significant behavioral/psychological issue undergoing treatment that is exacerbated specifically by the use of a facial covering (e.g. severe anxiety or a tactile aversion)
  4. A child living with severe autism or with extreme developmental delay who may become agitated or anxious wearing a mask
  5. A child with a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction

DeWine also announced Ohio will be joining five other states “to work together” in a bipartisan, interstate compact to expand rapid detection testing as nationwide testing shortages and delays continue.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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