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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

DeWine Urges All Ohioans to Wear Masks if They Have to Go Out in Public

photo of Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine holds up a face mask during Saturday's briefing while asking everyone to wear one if they need to go out in public.

It’s not a requirement yet, but Ohio officials are urging all Ohioans to start wearing protective masks when they have to go out in public. During the daily Ohio coronavirus briefing Saturday, the head of the Ohio Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton stressed the importance of wearing masks that anyone can make in their own home.


“It’s not 100 percent, but it is about 80 percent effective, and that 80 percent like our Swiss cheese layers of everything that we’re doing to stay home adds up collectively to slowing down the spread of this virus.


Acton says there are instructions on coronavirus.ohio.gov on a variety of ways to make your own masks.  During the briefing, Governor Mike DeWine said he would start wearing a mask, that his wife Fran made, whenever he’s in public.



The latest number released by the Ohio Department of Health show that there are now 3,739 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and 102 deaths. 1,006 people have been hospitalized. 326 have been admitted to intensive care units. The patients range in age from less than a year old to 101.



Ohio coronavirus stats for April 4, 2020
Coronavirus stats released at 2pm on April 4th, 2020


An expansion of telehealth

During the briefing, the governor also announced he’s signing and executive order to expand access to tele-health.


“Normally to utilize tele-health services, you must have had a face-to-face first meeting. And counselors and social workers would be required to take special training in providing tele-health services. The order that I signed today will enable those requirements to be removed so patients can be more readily seen.”


DeWine says mental health is just as important as physical help, and with social distancing and the stay-at-home order, the governor wants to ensure that anyone who needs mental or behavioral support can get it.



  Editor's note: This story has been updated to update the link for making your own mask. It has also been updated to correct a typo in the headline.


Andrew Meyer is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.