DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — After June 2, the state will lift all COVID health orders but Ohioans who are not vaccinated are still advised to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Some health leaders lack confidence in the state’s Honor Code only because they say it’s obvious residents are exhausted with guidelines after 14 months and are ready for things to return to normal.
“After 14 months, it’s time to transfer the responsibility over to individuals and let them make their own decisions,” said Governor Mike DeWine.
The state plans to use an Honor Code relying on unvaccinated Ohioans to continue to follow safety guidelines.
“If everyone stops utilizing the masks and vaccine rates do not continue to stay up, we could have pockets where the virus is persistent and that could slow our progress into being able to remove all restrictions,” said Dr. Roberto Colon, chief medical officer at Miami Valley Hospital.
DeWine says the announcement to lift restrictions made sense because the timeline gave Ohioans plenty of time to get vaccinated. Even if the state doesn’t reach the goal, health restrictions will still be removed which may raise concern.
“It’s never wrong to go ahead and wear a mask, if you are worried go ahead and wear it that’s fine,” said Colon. “The loosening of the restrictions are really emphasizing the benefit of being fully vaccinated.”
However, DeWine is confident that the Honor Code will work. But if it doesn’t, the vaccinated have peace of mind knowing they’re safe.
“We really have two groups of people but the vaccinated can feel safe,” said DeWine.
Once COVID health orders are lifted, businesses can still enforce masks if they choose and whether you’re vaccinated or not, everyone will have to comply.