Governor DeWine held a statewide address on May 12, 2021. The Governor praised Ohioans who have sacrificed greatly this past year in fighting COVID-19. He also announced drawings for $5 million and scholarships as incentives to citizens to get the COVID-19 vaccine and stated the following:
It’s time to end the health orders. It’s been a year. You’ve followed the protocols. You’ve done what we’ve asked. You’ve bravely fought this virus. And now, our cases are down, and we have a tested and proven weapon in the vaccine that all Ohioans 12 and over can utilize.
While we have this great weapon, the danger of remaining unvaccinated is crystal clear. The virus is still here. Our cases are down, but that’s only because 42 percent of our entire population has now been vaccinated and can no longer get it and can no longer spread it.
Ohio Department of Health Director, Stephanie McCloud, will remove all pandemic health orders, except those for nursing homes & assisted living facilities, effective 3 weeks from today, on June 2. This will give anyone not been vaccinated time to get the one-shot J&J vaccine or the first dose of Pfizer/Moderna and be well on the way to full immunity for themselves.
Now, lifting these orders does not mean the virus is gone. It does not mean we are all safe. Each Ohio citizen will make their own decisions about wearing a mask and social distancing, how to protecting themselves — and when, for them, their actions, that’s appropriate.
The number of Ohioans who get the vaccine will determine what our future looks like, particularly this coming winter. Everyone has a stake in more Ohioans getting vaccinated.
He further stated this about businesses:
Ohio businesses and schools, as well, will make their own decisions about how to best keep their customers, employees, and students safe. Lifting these health orders will not prevent a business from imposing its own requirements.
In fact, based upon the experiences of other states, we expect that many stores or businesses may require social distancing and masking.
In addition, during Governor DeWine’s normal press conference on May 13, 2021, he announced that Ohio will no longer take part in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program – the extra $300 on top of normal unemployment benefits – as of June 26, 2021.
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