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Coronavirus

Ohio's Top Doctor Urges Parents To Send Kids To School In Masks

Fifth graders wear face masks are seated at proper social distancing spacing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. in this May 18, 2021 file photo.
Mary Altaffer
/
AP
Fifth graders wear face masks are seated at proper social distancing spacing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. in this May 18, 2021 file photo.

COVID cases continue to climb in Ohio, and many school districts have mandated students and teachers wear masks inside buildings, including the state’s largest districts. But what about those districts that have not done that? The Ohio Department of Health’s incoming director explains parents should have their children wear masks anyway.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said kids old enough to be vaccinated should be. Younger kids, he said, should wear masks, even if they are not required in their schools.

“There are, in fact, studies of masking that have looked at ‘do masks protect the wearer even if an infected patient is not, in fact, themselves wearing a mask?’ And the answer is yes, they do provide substantial protection,” Vanderhoff said.

Two Republican lawmakers are working on bills to ban schools from requiring masks. Gov. Mike DeWine says there’s no appetite for a statewide mask mandate, and a new state law would allow lawmakers to vote it down if he ordered one.

Columbus schools is requiring masks for all students while some other local districts are requiring masks for elementary school students who are not eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.