COLUMBUS– State Rep. Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati) issued a statement today urging Gov. DeWine to immediately implement a statewide school mask mandate. During a press conference last week, Gov. DeWine chose not to implement a mask mandate for schools, instead pleading with school superintendents to require masks for students and staff on their own. The Ohio Children’s Hospital Association has also called on school superintendents to require masks in schools to combat the current surge in COVID-19 among school-aged children.
“It is time to stop making excuses and step up to protect our children. Our children can’t afford to miss any more in-person schooling. And until all children are eligible for vaccination, masks are the best method we have to control the spread of COVID-19 and keep our children in school,” said Rep. Ingram. “Governor DeWine feels his hands have been tied by his Republican legislative colleagues who continue to play politics with our children’s health, and this is unacceptable.”
The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, in agreeance with the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends that all children wear masks when returning to in-person school, regardless of vaccination status. This guidance also applies to teachers and staff. Most public school districts in Hamilton County, with the exception of two, have announced universal mask mandates, partial mask mandates or at least mask recommendations. It is the hope that schools across Ohio, with or without the action of the legislature, will swiftly adopt universal mask mandates to protect our children.