Health leaders warn against indoor masking being removed


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The lifting of Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders comes days after Dr. Fauci opened the door to relaxing indoor masking guidelines. However, local health leaders warn if we pull back restrictions too quickly, the state could see a significant spike in cases if vaccinations don’t increase as well.

“We are approaching a very dangerous territory and that’s something that needs to be called out,” said Dr. Roberto Colon, chief medical officer at Miami Valley Hospital. “If we stop here, we lose the risk of losing all that benefit down the road.”

Colon says we have more hurdles to jump over before all indoor masking is no more, despite cases on the decline.

“First, we’re going to loosen up our mask mandate or restrictions in outdoor environments until we have some of our large sporting events without the mask,” said Colon. “Then, when we get to indoor, that’s going to be the last hurdle moving back in our restrictions.”

Right now the state is averaging 123 cases per 100,000 residents, significantly lower than our surrounding states. Tae Winston, owner and founder of The Entrepreneurs Marketplace, Connection & Shoppe, says she believes people are already motivated to get vaccinated, especially if that means no masks indoors.

“I am definitely seeing more people get vaccinated if they want to come out because a lot of people have told me they’re going to come to my Food Truck Rally or to my stores after getting both of their shots,” said Winston. “I think more people are definitely rushing to get vaccinated as more things open up and the governor says things are getting better.”

All health orders will be removed in three weeks. However, it is left up to businesses if they choose to enforce mask wearing.

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