YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Gov. Mike DeWine’s statewide mask mandate goes into effect Thursday at 6 p.m. in an effort to get Ohio’s coronavirus curve under control. According to health officials, COVID-19 is still around because some haven’t followed guidelines.

“These outbreaks are coming back from large parties — either at houses or, potentially, Fourth of July events — that we’ve seen where individuals decide not to wear a mask,” said Mahoning County health commissioner Ryan Tekac.

Tekac said wearing a mask is the best way to keep everyone safe and healthy.

“Studies have now shown that me wearing this facial covering protects you. It stops any respiratory droplets that this virus wants to spread in from spreading to you.”

People we talked to in downtown Youngstown Wednesday afternoon support the mandate.

Karen Harris is concerned about the virus spreading in enclosed spaces.

“I think they should wear the mask when they come out and go in stores because they said it’s airborne. So I think they should wear it when they come outside, and go in stores and around other people,” she said.

Tekac also addressed concerns about masks interfering with personal freedoms. He advises people to think about others who might get sick if masks aren’t worn.

“It’s very important because it’s going to curb the spread of the virus to those who potentially may be impacted differently than what a young person is.”

Trisha Riley, of Youngstown, offered her own piece of advice.

“COVID-19 is nothing to play with so if I were you, just to be safe, wear a mask wherever you go. That way, you don’t have to worry about anybody getting sick.”