ODH Will Require Face Masks for Grades K-12 Children While at School
Governor DeWine announced on Tuesday that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a health order requiring that K-12 children wear face coverings while at school. The new mandate comes after the Ohio Children's Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter issued a joint letter today recommending widespread use of masks in schools with the following exceptions:
- Children under the age of 2 years old
- Any child unable to remove the face covering without assistance
- 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)
- A child living with severe autism or with extreme developmental delay who may become agitated or anxious wearing a mask
- A child with a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction
"Without a vaccine, we are limited in the ways that we can protect the people of Ohio," said Governor DeWine. "For schools to have a fighting chance to stay open this fall, widespread face coverings for K-12 students will increase the odds that kids will go to school and stay in school."