CLEVELAND — Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders, including the mask mandate, have been lifted on June 2. Gov. Mike DeWine rescinded the health orders to conform to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for vaccinated individuals.
“For a year, Ohioans have made sacrifices to save lives and keep our state moving forward. What you have done has truly worked," DeWine said in May when he announced the orders would end.
So what does it all mean?
More than 4.6 million Ohioans are now fully vaccinated, but businesses and schools will still be able to require masks and social distancing, if they choose to do so. Masks will still be present in public life.
“Ohioans have done a great job during the pandemic. And, with more than five 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," DeWine said in a statement on Tuesday. "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."
Late Tuesday, DeWine announced that Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud had signed an order rescinding the following health orders, effective at midnight:
- The Director’s Order to Limit Access to Ohio’s Jails and Detention Facilities
- The Director’s Order to Release Protected Health Information to Ohio’s First Responders
- The Director’s Order Requiring the Use of Facial Coverings in Child Education Settings
- The Director’s Order for Retail and Business Compliance for Facial Coverings through the State of Ohio
- The Second Amended Director’s Order on Adult Day Support Services and Vocational Habilitation Services
- The Third Amended Director’s Order on the Opening of Senior Centers
- The Third Amended Director’s Order on the Opening of Adult Day Services Centers
The following orders, according to the governor, will remain in effect:
- The Order to Require Screening for Admission to State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals or to Department of Youth Services Facilities
- The Director’s Order Designating The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center a Public Health Laboratory
- The Director’s Order to Facilities to Notify Residents, Guardians and Sponsor of Positive or Probable Cases of COVID-19
- The Director’s Order Requiring Reporting and Notification Regarding COVID-19 Cases in Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade
With the order now lifted, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to wear a mask and will be allowed to resume most activities without social distancing. Nursing homes are an exception.
Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to continue to wear masks, socially distance, avoid large gatherings, and participate in activities and gatherings that occur outdoors.
According to the CDC, people are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after receiving their second dose (either Pfizer or Moderna) or two weeks after receiving the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
There will be no capacity limitations for outdoor and indoor facilities. Starting on June 2, Progressive Field will resume full capacity for Cleveland Indians games.
Business and congregate settings
Businesses may continue to require mitigation measures such as masking and social distancing.
The lifting of the health order does not apply to jails, prison facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or adult day centers for elderly adults.
Businesses such as Mootown Creamery in Berea say they will continue to require masks for a little longer, despite the lifting of the health order on June 2. They're not alone. Others have said they will, too.
“If you have to wear a mask to get an ice cream cone, walk outside have your ice cream cone, what’s the big deal? It’s about having respect for people,” said John Lewis, a customer News 5 spoke with at the ice cream shop.
Expect businesses and organized gatherings to post visible signs at entrances requiring all persons not fully vaccinated entering to wear a face mask.
COVID-19 protocols in court
"We are continuing with trials and all criminal and civil procedures. Each court has slightly different protocols ranging from allowing those vaccinated to remove their masks up to having all parties continue to wear their masks. All jurors asked to report will be asked to wear a mask or facial covering until they are told to do otherwise by the judge. As far as operations, we are pretty much back to normal and staff have returned full time, to include our adult probation department," a spokesperson for the court told News 5.
Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas is not making any changes to its policies.
Face coverings must still be worn inside the Justice Center. Only four people are allowed on elevators at one time, and the elevator will have markings for where to stand, according to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court website.
Cleveland Clinic will maintain its mask mandate.
"All patients, visitors and caregivers at Cleveland Clinic will still be screened and required to wear a face mask in our facilities, including those who are fully vaccinated. The safety of our patients, visitors and caregivers remains our top priority. After monitoring COVID-19 positivity rates among our patients, caregivers and communities, in addition to statewide updates and guidance, we did reduce visitation restrictions effective May 27, 2021," the clinic said in a statement.
University Hospitals will also maintain a mask mandate. There are still limitations on the number of visitors who can accompany a patient to the hospital. Click here for the full list of policies.
Visit our Vaccinating Ohio page for the latest updates on Ohio's vaccination program, including links to sign up for a vaccine appointment, a map of nearby vaccination sites, a detailed breakdown of the state's current vaccine phase, and continuing local coverage of COVID-19 vaccines in Northeast Ohio.
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