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Masking guidance may be MORE stringent

Things are looking good in Ohio, right? COVID-19 cases and hospitalization numbers seem to be decreasing, more and more are getting their vaccine shots, Gov. Mike DeWine shaved an hour off the curfew … we must be on our way out of this mess.

Not quite. While more than a few people have seized on positive news as an excuse to toss out the masks, and relax their guard when it comes to following other precautionary guidelines, it seems just the opposite is in order.

When some read last week that Ohio Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the state is not ready “at this stage in the game,” to change its guidance on masks, they may have assumed Vanderhoff was talking about the possibility that masks might be on their way out. In fact, the change he was discussing was whether to make mask guidance MORE stringent.

Reports of a new, possibly more contagious and more dangerous strain of COVID-19 have emerged, and medical professionals including National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden have suggested double masking or switching from cloth to medical-grade masks might be in order.

It is not time to throw caution to the wind, ladies and gentlemen. It is time to be even more careful about following the necessary steps to help stem the spread of this virus.

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