DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, some are questioning whether a state-wide mask mandate should be reinstated. At this time, health leaders have a different strategy in mind.
“Nothing is perfect, so the vaccine isn’t perfect, a mask isn’t perfect, even social distancing isn’t perfect, but layering out protection is always a better idea than not doing it,” said CCCHD Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.
Health leaders say it’s time to act. They’re seeing an increase in cases and want Ohioans to start taking notice.
“They don’t have to put themselves in situations where masks would be required or a good idea, so back to spending little less time in public, little less time in places where they can be exposed, especially in places with individuals they don’t know,” said Patterson.
Restaurant owners are encouraging patrons to practice health guidelines on their own so the industry won’t have to shut down again. Previously, Wheat Penny’s Owner Liz Valenti voiced concerns over having to reinstate a curfew if cases continued to rise.
“I feel that vaccination is the key to this but we have to continue to wear our masks, continue to social distance and be as smart as we can in terms of recognizing there’s light at the end of the tunnel but we still have to be diligent, we still have to be safe,” said Valenti.
The Coronavirus Dashboard shows half of Ohioans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, but the journey doesn’t stop there.
“Once again, adhere to social distancing and mask wearing,” said Valenti. “We’ll be able to take these steps with progression and get back to having occupancy in our restaurants that can generate revenues to keep independent restaurants alive.”
Health leaders believe once all age groups are eligible to receive a vaccine, that will help stop the spread.