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DeWine Says He Would Issue Statewide Mask Mandate If He Could

mike dewine mask
Jason Whitman
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine during a coronavirus briefing at the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati on Thursday, March 18, 2021.

Ohio’s children’s hospitals say they are at capacity because they are treating so many kids for COVID and other illnesses. In fact, all of the hospitals in Toledo were on emergency bypass Monday night, so for hours, EMTs could not take patients to those facilities. Yet, Gov. Mike DeWine says he can’t issue a statewide mask mandate.

DeWine says he’d like to issue a temporary statewide mask mandate right now to help cut down on COVID spread, especially among kids. But he says he is powerless to do so.

“I vetoed the bill that gave the legislature this power," he says. "That veto, as you well know because you reported it, was overridden by the state legislature. In addition to that, the state legislature has made it very clear to me that they will take off a health order if I put a health order on.”

DeWine says going to court over that would create confusion that might end up making things worse. So he, along with leaders at Ohio’s hospitals, are urging Ohioans to wear masks and demand local leaders put mask mandates in place.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit 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.