Gov. DeWine Urges Ohioans To Wear Masks But Won’t Mandate Them

As coronavirus cases continue to climb in Ohio, Governor DeWine sat down for a quick speech about the importance of wearing face masks.

When word went out that the governor would be making a live address in the late afternoon on Wednesday, July 15, many were anticipating a rollback of reopening measures or perhaps a statewide mask mandate.

Instead, the governor spoke for a little under 30 minutes, praising Ohio’s early response to the coronavirus pandemic and begging Ohio residents to wear face coverings while in public.

As of Wednesday, there have been a total of 69,311 reported cases in Ohio since the pandemic began. There have been over 3,000 deaths and over 9,000 hospitalizations. Yesterday the state saw 1,316 new cases in one day, and those growing numbers have officials concerned.

Several times throughout his speech, Gov. DeWine compared Ohio’s current statistics with those of states like Florida and Arizona, where cases are soaring to record highs. In order to avoid a similar fate, the governor urged Ohioans to take the virus seriously and to wear face masks when out in public.

“Ohio is sliding,” said Gov. DeWine during the address. “We’re sliding down a very dangerous path. This worrisome, disturbing reversal of our progress should be a jarring reminder of just how quickly our fate can change.”

The window of opportunity to reverse our increasing case count is closing rapidly, and for that reason, the governor asked every Ohioan to wear masks in public.

“All of us have started to let our guard down,” he said. “We’re tired. We want to go back to the way things were, and that’s very understandable. But when we do, we’re literally playing a Russian roulette game with our lives.”

While the speech had heartfelt moments, many were concerned that his optimism wouldn’t be enough to convince those who have been very vocal about refusing to wear masks to comply. As other states begin to close bars and restaurants and mandating facial coverings, will the governor’s request be enough to help Ohio flatten the curve once more?

If you missed the speech and you’d like to hear the governor’s remarks in full, you can view the entire address below.

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