SPONSORED:

Ohio governor says now-reversed face mask mandate was 'a bridge too far'

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said Sunday that a now-reversed mandate for everyone, including customers, to wear face masks at businesses during the coronavirus pandemic was “a bridge too far.”

“It became very clear to me after we put out the order that everyone in retail who walked into a store as a customer would have to do that, it became clear to me that that was just a bridge too far,” he said on ABC's "This Week." “People were not going to accept the government telling them what to do.”

“So my ability to communicate to the people of Ohio, frankly, I thought was going to be really impeded and we would get hung up on the mandatory masks for someone going in as a customer, and it just wasn’t going to work,” he added. 

DeWine says he still "highly" recommends that customers wear masks in businesses as a way to protect workers.

The governor says Ohio plans to “very carefully” reopen manufacturing and construction firms starting Monday and move on to retail businesses later this month.  DeWine said he made the decision as a way of “balancing” the economy and the public health risks associated with the coronavirus, adding that the state government will be monitoring the statistics. 

ADVERTISEMENT
“What I hope is as people see those numbers, if they do go up and if they go up dramatically, that the people of the state will react to that,” he said. 

As of Saturday afternoon, Ohio has confirmed at least 19,335 cases of coronavirus, leading to 3,712 hospitalizations and 1,021 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health