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Ohio health orders end at midnight, unvaccinated still urged to mask up

Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 6:52 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Starting Wednesday, June 2, Ohio will return to what things were like before the pandemic hit more than a year ago. All COVID-19 restrictions and health orders in the state will be lifted, with the exception of those governing nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The question is: will this return everyone to normalcy?

Gov. DeWine announced the June 2 deadline to remove those health orders during a statewide address in mid-May, at the same time he announced the state’s Vax-A-Million lottery. The logic of making the announcement weeks in advance, said the governor, was to ensure that unvaccinated Ohioans had a chance to get vaccinated before the mask mandates were fully lifted. Since then, the state has seen a small increase in vaccination rates, but still fewer than 45% of all Ohio residents have received at least one dose.

Lucas County Health Commissioner Dr. Eric Zgodzinski, DPH says the county and the state has done everything it can to make sure people have access to vaccines. To date, 44% of the residents in Lucas County are vaccinated and our level of COVID infections is at 101 per 100-thousand. There are roughly 20 new COVID cases per day which is down significantly.

On Tuesday, ahead of the June 2 deadline, Gov. DeWine again stressed the importance of getting vaccinated, saying in a statement: “Ohioans have done a great job during the pandemic. And, with more than 5 million Ohioans who have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are getting back to living the lives we want. However, it is important that we all still remember that there are a significant number of Ohioans who remain unvaccinated and are at-risk, including everyone under the age of 12. It’s important that those not fully vaccinated continue to wear masks indoors and follow other preventative measures to keep themselves as healthy as possible.”

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