Miami Valley parents, doctor react to Ohio’s school mask order

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor Mike DeWine announced Tuesday the Ohio Department of Health is issuing an order that will require all K-12 students to wear masks in school.

“We’re doing it to frankly give our children, teachers, the best chance to succeed,” DeWine said.

Parent Jessica Hiles said her daughter goes to a school that wasn’t requiring masks.

“I’d love for her to have a normal senior year, but I don’t think we’re going to get that this year,” Hiles said.

Hiles is an ICU nurse and was concerned about the risks of her daughter not wearing a mask in school. She said the mask order is a relief.

“Extremely relieved,” Hiles said. “For everyone involved. The students, my student, the teachers, the faculty the parents, everyone.”

Another parent, who spoke to 2NEWS anonymously, said she’s concerned that the order will not be effective, especially for elementary students.

“I think it’s gonna be very hard for the younger kids,” she said. “He also didn’t address about the kids who have asthma or who have inflammation issues and cannot wear one. The teachers in the lower grades will get nothing done but being mask police.”

Miami Valley Hospital assoc. chief medical officer Dr. Roberto Colon said there’s no reason to not start the school year wearing masks.

Dr. Colon said there’s no way to get the COVID-19 risk down to zero in a school environment, so masks are one way to try to minimize that risk.

“The idea is to try to get to a position where we can reduce as much as possible the chance for transmission,” Dr. Colon said.

Dr. Colon said that there is no concern for breathing problems or inhaling carbon dioxide from wearing masks for the full school day.

The mask order does have some exemptions, including children with sensory issues, disabilities and other health reasons that make them unable to wear one.

All school employees were already required to wear masks in school.

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