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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Ohioans Advised To Wear Homemade Masks - And DeWine Will Too

Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Dept. of Health
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Dept. of Health

Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio's top health leader say Ohioans should to wear homemade and non-medical grade masks when they go out in public.But wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can’t get coronavirus.

Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says masks can be made simply using any fabric, but they have limitations.

“It isn’t going to make you bulletproof. A virus can get through any homemade mask," Acton says.

Acton says masks need to be worn while still practicing social distancing, not instead of it. She cautions against using the N-95 medical-grade masks that are already in short supply. She says those masks should be donated to local emergency management agencies, who will give them to medical professionals.

Gov. Mike DeWine said he plans to wear a mask made by Ohio's First Lady, Fran DeWine. That's in contrast to President Trump, who says he won't wear a mask.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.