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Ohio Reissues Mask Mandate Amid COVID-19 Surge

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that the state’s mask mandate would be reissued as coronavirus hospitalizations spike.

The order also requires businesses to post a “Face Covering Requirement” sign at entrances, mandates store management to ensure patrons and employees are in compliance, and requires businesses to submit to inspection by the newly-formed “Retail Compliance Unit,” according to a tweet from the governor.

“We are reissuing Ohio’s mask order w/ three new provisions,” DeWine wrote. “The first violation of this order will bring about a written warning and a second violation will bring about closure of the store for up to 24 hours.”

The Ohio Department of Health announced Monday that there was an ‘unprecedented spike in hospital admissions’ in the state, according to a press release. A total of 2,500 hospitalizations were recorded at the time of the announcement, which was up from 2,000 just a few days prior, the department wrote.

“In Ohio, we are seeing an unprecedented spike in hospital utilization and it is impacting all areas of the state. While we are better prepared with personal protective equipment and physical capacity, what we are seeing now is an increasing demand on our staffing,” Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said.

“If we don’t control the spread of this virus, we won’t be able to care for those who are acutely ill without postponing important, but less urgent, care,” he continued. “We anticipate that this kind of shift could happen in a matter of weeks if trends don’t change.”

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