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DeWine: Mask order may cover ‘a lot more counties’

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio order requiring masks to be worn in public may include “a lot more counties” next week as the coronavirus continues to spread in the state, Gov. Mike DeWIne said Sunday.

DeWine said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he is still considering a statewide mask mandate. On Thursday, the Republican governor ordered Ohio residents in 19 counties, which include almost 60% of the state’s population, to wear a mask in public.

“We’re going the wrong way. We’re at a crucial time,” DeWine said when asked about the possibility of a statewide order. “And so this week, you may see a lot more counties under that mask requirement. So we certainly would not rule out going statewide. We’re certainly looking at that.”

DeWine said health departments in the state indicate that the increase is occurring in bars, churches and from people traveling out of state “but a lot of it, frankly, is just people in casual settings, 20, 30, 40, 50 people gathering together.”

“And so it’s not all about orders,” he said. “Orders are important. But it’s also about getting people to understand, ‘Hey, this is, this is very, very serious. And now, while we did a great job early on in Ohio, we are now headed in the wrong direction.'”

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