A surgical mask and an N95 mask hang on display for sale at a pharmacy. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.
Face coverings are considered by health experts to be one of the most effective (and simplest) ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At no point in 2020 has a statewide “mask mandate” been in effect. Instead, a growing and ever-changing patchwork of local mandates are being implemented all throughout the state.
In lieu of a statewide mandate, Gov. Mike DeWine has turned instead to tackling the virus on more local level. His administration recently created an Ohio Public Health Advisory System which rates the 88 counties on a color-coded system. There are four levels (colors), with a higher number meaning the county is experiencing a more severe spread of the coronavirus.
Once a county hits Level 3, a mask mandate is automatically in effect for people in that county. The state is updating the system each Thursday — as of this article’s publication on July 13, a dozen counties are under that mandate, though the map may change on July 14.
City officials around the state have opted to implement a mask mandate at a local level.
Here is a map of all the Level 3 counties and the local mandates throughout Ohio, as of July 13:
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