Franklin County Has Lifted The Face Mask Advisory

Franklin County Public Health is rescinding the county’s universal mask advisory.

The advisory was immediately dropped after an announcement on Monday, affecting schools, employers, and other public indoor settings in the county. Since Franklin County never issued a mask mandate, only an advisory, any local mask mandates will supersede the order.

“The threat of COVID-19 is not over. However, the guidance provided by CDC collectively gives us a path forward as we continue to be responsive to the needs of our community,” the county’s statement reads.

Columbus Public Health, which does have a mask mandate, announced that the city is expected to drop its mask mandate next week.

The changes in masking advisories and mandates come directly from new CDC guidelines. The new guidelines offer a more localized approach to masking with each county being ranked by threat levels. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by “looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.”

You can view different counties levels by visiting cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.

Franklin County is currently listed as a medium threat. The CDC also reminds people that you may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

You can read the full statement from Franklin County Public Health below.

Full statement:

On Friday, February 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its framework to monitor the level of COVID-19 in communities. This framework moves beyond case rates and test positivity to evaluate factors that reflect the severity of disease, including hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) has been consistent with its mask advisories during the last two years aligning with CDC guidance, the Ohio Department of Health, and local metrics. Based on its new framework, CDC has determined the risk in Franklin County to be “yellow.” The state health department has adopted this new framework as the standard here in Ohio. As such, FCPH is rescinding its universal mask advisory for all residents, including schools, employers, and other public indoor settings throughout our community. FCPH strongly encourages all individuals who may be at higher risk for severe outcomes of COVID-19 (e.g. immunocompromised or unvaccinated) to consider continuing to mask when in public. We encourage everyone to support an individual’s choice of masking with empathy and kindness so FCPH will continue our messaging to Spread Love, Not COVID.

FCPH urges all residents five years of age and older to get vaccinated and receive their booster dose when eligible. Vaccine clinics are readily available throughout our community. Testing will also remain a high priority. Residents who are symptomatic should stay home and get tested right away to ensure appropriate and timely care is provided as needed. Finally, anyone positive for COVID-19 must continue to follow the isolation protocols as determined by the state.

The threat of COVID-19 is not over. However, the guidance provided by CDC collectively gives us a path forward as we continue to be responsive to the needs of our community. We thank all of our residents, elected officials, superintendents, and other community leaders who continue to take the necessary steps and actions to protect the health of our community.

Franklin County Public Health

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