face masks

It was Memorial Day when then-candidate Joe Biden made his first public appearance since the coronavirus shut down in-person campaigning. Before he went out to place a wreath at a veterans memorial in Delaware, Biden and his team decided he would wear a mask. It wasn't a difficult decision, an aide said when asked about the choice.

It has become the battle cry of public health officials around the world: "Wear a mask to slow the spread." Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new evidence supporting this advice.

Researchers analyzed coronavirus infection rates in Kansas following a statewide mask mandate. They found that counties that chose to enforce the mandate saw their cases decrease. Counties that chose to opt out saw their cases continue to rise.

The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on March 26, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

The Ohio House's Republican majority has defeated a motion to require all members to do what employees and visitors at the Ohio Statehouse already must do – wear a face covering.

Signs posted at the entrance to the grocery store in northwest Montana told customers to wear a mask. Public health officials in Flathead County urged the same. Coronavirus infection rates here are among the highest in the state. Infection rates in the state are among the highest in the United States.

And still, Craig Mann walked out of the grocery store, past the signs and toward his truck, maskless and resolute.

The pandemic that everyone's talking about?

Cecelia Brockett, left, and Courtney Barefoot enjoy a lunch at the Winking Lizard Tavern, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Beachwood, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

To combat the state's renewed surge of coronavirus cases, Ohio is issuing a curfew that requires most retail establishments to close from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.

Gov. Mike DeWine says the curfew will take effect Thursday, Nov. 19 and last for 21 days, after which point the order will be re-evaluated.

As Ohio continues to report record-breaking rates of COVID-19 cases, Kent State public health professor Tina Bhargava says Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and other state and local leaders need to consider closing some businesses to stem the surge in cases.

Some shutdowns are needed to get COVID-19 under control in Ohio, Bhargava said.

Andy Mosier, manager of Mosier's Market in Raymond, where more people than usual were wearing face masks Thursday.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced plans to require businesses enforce the face mask mandate for employees and customers. It appears some residents in rural counties, where rates of new COVID-19 cases are outstripping their urban neighbors, were listening.

A day after Gov. Mike DeWine strengthened face mask orders, the state reported 7,101 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in Ohio to 274,457.

Gov. Mike DeWine holds up a face mask at a press conference April 6, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine is strengthening Ohio's face mask orders, which could result in the closure of businesses that don’t enforce the wearing of masks by employees and customers. Next week, the state will look into possibly closing bars, restaurants and fitness centers if COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase in multiple states, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is encouraging Ohioans to wear masks, socially distance and wash hands just as he has for months in an effort to contain the pandemic.

DeWine's approach hasn't been shared by President Trump. So how does he square his calls for masks and distance with a president who is not doing the same?

Alaina Shearer, the Democratic nominee for Ohio's 12th Congressional district.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Candidates for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District met Friday in a forum hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Club. Democratic challenger Alaina Shearer and Libertarian nominee John Stewart joined incumbent Republican Rep. Troy Balderson for a debate in the waning days of the election. 

Universal mask wearing in public could greatly reduce the number of Americans who die by COVID-19 by February, a study published Friday in the journal Nature Medicine projects.

Researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation made estimates based on some assumptions under different scenarios.

The number of coronavirus cases continues to surge in Ohio, with 1,800 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. 

Ohio’s cases have doubled over the past two weeks, Gov. Mike DeWine said during a visit to Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland Monday, and he is surprised by how quickly the cases are spreading in the state.

Gov. Mike DeWine says no one knows how long the coronavirus pandemic will continue in Ohio, but he compares the current moment to "halftime." The governor is sounding a pessimistic warning as the state heads toward colder months, saying the average number of new cases is up and positivity has increased.

A poll worker checks in an early voter at the Franklin County Board of Elections on Oct. 6, 2020.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Ohioans are technically required to wear face masks when they vote in-person this election. But what happens if the voter refuses to wear one?