Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says he will not reintroduce public health mandates despite increase in COVID-19 cases

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Posted at 8:52 AM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 08:52:14-04

CLEVELAND — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he would not renew public health mandates like wearing masks and social distancing despite rising number of cases in the state.

DeWine appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday and said he had no plans to reintroduce mandates. Earlier in the pandemic, DeWine instituted mask mandates and social distancing.

He said there is still “room to grow” in increasing vaccinations among Ohioans. When asked about renewing mandates he said "the whole game today is vaccinations.”

DeWine said he is leaving the decision to local school districts and only "strongly recommended" that school staff and eligible students get vaccinated for COVID-19, and that those who cannot or choose not to receive the vaccine wear masks at school consistently.

RELATED: ODH recommends vaccines for eligible and masking for unvaccinated; no mandates or universal masking

“We had great success last winter, last school year we saw virtually no spread in the classroom when all the kids were wearing masks. We strongly recommend our schools do that,” he said.

As of Aug. 1, just 46% of Ohioans are fully vaccinated, according to the Ohio Department of Health tracker.

In an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the lockdowns the country saw last year are not likely to return, but he did warn that “things will get worse.”

I don't think we're gonna see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country -- not enough to crush the outbreak -- but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter. But things are going to get worse," the nation's top infectious disease expert told "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl on Sunday.

The CDC now recommends that vaccinated individuals should wear masks when indoors.

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