During his afternoon press conference Governor DeWine announced that beginning on Thursday, July 23rd masks will be mandatory throughout the state when in public. Masks will be needed to be worn whenever in a public area as well as inside all public buildings. The mandate will go into effect at 6 p.m. on Thursday.  Up until now, Ohio had only required masks in counties that were considered hot spots.

Ohio is following the lead of dozens of governors around the nation who have already issued statewide mask orders, including Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. In fact, with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announcing a mask requirement on Wednesday as well, Ohio and all of its bordering states are now under mask orders.

Earlier this month, DeWine did impose mask requirements in counties with “very high exposure and spread” under the state’s new Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

Cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, continue to spike in Ohio. On Wednesday, the state reported 1,527 new infections and 16 deaths.  Wednesday’s case count was the third highest since the outbreak began.