DeWine asks for mask vigilance for unvaccinated as local hospitals continue mask protocol

Southwoods Surgical Hospital, Boardman


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As mask-wearing restrictions are about to be relaxed in most places in Ohio, you’ll want to keep that mask handy when you visit one of the healthcare facilities in the area.

Administrators with both Mercy Health and Southwoods say they will continue to require face coverings for visitors for the foreseeable future.

Hospital administrators say mask-wearing is vital in maintaining a high standard of care, especially for vulnerable patients.

Although the new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control relax the need for masks among those who’ve been fully vaccinated, facial coverings are still recommended for hospitals, nursing homes and doctor’s offices.

On Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued a reminder for unvaccinated people to still wear a mask indoors. He also reiterated the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Ohioans have done a great job during the pandemic. And, with more than 5 million Ohioans who have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are getting back to living the lives we want. However, it is important that we all still remember that there are a significant number of Ohioans who remain unvaccinated and are at-risk, including everyone under the age of 12. It’s important that those not fully vaccinated continue to wear masks indoors and follow other preventative measures to keep themselves as healthy as possible,” Dewine said.

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