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Ohio Bill Would Ban Mask Mandates For Public Schools And Businesses

Taylor Williams, left, and other shoppers what in line to enter a Traders Joes store, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Woodmere Village, Ohio. Only 25 customers are allowed in the store at one time.
Tony Dejak
/
Associated Press
Taylor Williams, left, and other shoppers what in line to enter a Traders Joes store, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Woodmere Village, Ohio. Only 25 customers are allowed in the store at one time.

Ohio’s COVID-19 rates are on an upward trend, and less than half of the state’s residents have been vaccinated. Still, some lawmakers want to make sure Ohioans who don’t want to get vaccinated or don’t want to wear masks won’t feel compelled to do so. The latest bill would keep schools and businesses from requiring masks for entry. 

Sen. Andrew Brenner’s (R-Delaware) bill (SB 209) would ban public schools and colleges from requiring masks in their buildings. Only local health departments could issue mask orders. Brenner said businesses that require masks would have to make exceptions for people who have medical conditions. 

“I have had too many constituent complaints, including people in wheelchairs and so forth who are not supposed to be wearing masks being told by businesses that they cannot enter those facilities without a mask on, even if they had a medical exception. That’s ridiculous," Brenner said.

Ohio’s statewide mask mandate expired June 2, and Gov. Mike DeWine says he is not interested in resurrecting it now. 

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.