CLEVELAND — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost celebrated health orders expiring in the state by burning his mask.
In honor of the expiring health orders: pic.twitter.com/BxqkgeH4MA— Attorney General Dave Yost (@Yost4Ohio) June 2, 2021
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said he's unsure if burning masks sends the right message.
"I can understand the excitement or the enthusiasm that any of us might feel, having reached a point in the pandemic where mask mandates are able to be lifted. However, I do think that we need to use caution. You've heard all of us express about relaxing our guard too much about COVID-19 and its continuing threat needs to be heeded as well," Vanderhoff said.
Pediatrician and Chief of Staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Dr. Patty Manning-Courtney said she hates how wearing masks has been turned into a bad thing.
"I would just say that it's unfortunate that masks and the mandates with masks have been equated with taking away people's rights to do what they want to do," Manning-Courtney said.
Dr. Keith Armitage with University Hospitals said there are medical reasons why some may continue wearing masks, especially among those who are immunocompromised.
“I think there will be some groups, even if they're vaccinated, who may still want to wear a mask indoors. If they're around vaccinated people, the risk of getting the virus is very low. If you're immunocompromised and you're around unvaccinated people indoors, you should probably wear a mask,” Armitage said. “The risk indoors is pretty dependent upon the type of air circulation. I think masks will be with us for a while and we should be understanding and patient about people who do need to mask.”
On Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine said that those who have not received the vaccine should also continue to mask up.
"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," DeWine said. "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."
While News 5 was unable to find a record of Yost publicly confirming that he got the COVID-19 vaccine, he did tweet in December that he planned to receive it when it became available to him.
For the #vaccine doubters: I will definitely be vaccinated as soon as it is available to me in the ordinary course.— Attorney General Dave Yost (@Yost4Ohio) December 29, 2020
I am not going to try to shove my way past docs, cops, nurses and medics—or nursing home patients—to the front of the line. https://t.co/c2vTNrxUGE
After receiving some backlash on social media, Yost said the burning was a joke.
A little-known side effect of COVID-19 is a temporary loss of the sense of humor. https://t.co/Ofe7RRAtxB— Attorney General Dave Yost (@Yost4Ohio) June 2, 2021
Ohio's health orders expired at midnight on Wednesday.
Yost was one of the million Ohioans to be diagnosed with COVID-19 during the pandemic.