Coronavirus Update: Mask Order Extended Statewide, CCS Cautions Reopening & More
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
COVID-19 cases — As of Wednesday, July 22, 11,678 cases and 378 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported or are probable in Columbus and Worthington. Countywide, 15,493 cases and 497 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.
Statewide, 78,742 cases and 3,235 deaths have been confirmed or are probable, as reported by the Ohio Department of Health.
Governor Extends Mask Order Statewide — Previously, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s mask order only applied to counties with a Level 3 Public Health Advisory, which at the moment includes Franklin County and 18 other counties statewide. However, on Wednesday, the governor announced that order would be extended statewide, beginning Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m.
The new order will be virtually the same as the previous one. All Ohio residents are ordered to wear facial coverings in indoor public spaces, except for residences, outdoor spaces when social distancing isn’t possible, as well as on public transportation and rideshare.
The requirement does not apply to children under 10 years of age, individuals with respiratory and mental health conditions, individuals engaged in exercise or athletics, those actively engaged in public safety duties including police officers and firefighters, and more.
Read the official Ohio Department of Health Director’s Order here.
In addition to the extended order, the state will issue a travel advisory for individuals who return from states with high COVID-19 positivity rates. Individuals traveling from Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada Mississippi and Puerto Rico are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days once returning to Ohio.
That list of states will be updated weekly based on seven-day averages of positivity rates of more than 15%, said the governor.
City Announces Funding for CCS Virtual Learning Efforts — On Wednesday, the City of Columbus announced it would be using CARES Act funding for additional Chromebooks for Columbus City Schools students.
$7 million of the $157 million received from the CARES Act will be used to supply more CCS students who do not have access to technology.
The district is also working to provide hotspots and reliable internet access to students for online instruction.
CCS Cautions Reopening — On Tuesday, July 21, Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon announced the district was giving “serious consideration” to beginning the next school year completely remote, after guidance from Columbus Public Health indicated that it is imperative to see four consecutive weeks of decreasing COVID-19 case numbers in order for the district to reopen safely.
Visit www.ccsoh.us/district for more information.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.