Gov. DeWine backpedals on use of masks, says retail customers will not be required to wear facial coverings

Ohio company providing masks for all who need them.
Updated: Apr. 28, 2020 at 2:23 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Gov. Mike DeWine said customers at Ohio retail stores will not be required to wear facial coverings after all.

The revision to the Governor’s strategy for restarting Ohio’s economy was made within 24 hours of his initial announcement.

Although Gov. DeWine said he is not mandating the universal use of face coverings for retail customers, he is still strongly recommending it.

Store owners will be allowed to form their own policies and turn away customers who do not comply with their decisions.

Facial coverings will still be required for employees in retail and other business sectors.

Facemasks For All, is providing masks for those who need them.

“You know face masks are going to be one critical piece of the processes and protocols that Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Acton have been advising," said CEO, Darryl Tanner.

The Columbus-based company says it is prepared to equip businesses throughout the state of Ohio with face masks as employees return to work. It has more than 100,000 masks ready to ship out, with priority given to non-profits.

They’ve already distributed more 400 thousand masks, including some to Ohio National Guard and Columbus Division of Police. Tanner tells 19 News we’re all in this together.

“Just encourage everyone to continue following those protocols and to not relax because we’re re-opening. We have to stay and arguably have to double-down on our efforts of these same protocols and face masks are a key part of that," he said.

Click here for information on how you can get a mask.

Retail stores will be allowed to reopen beginning May 12 under Gov. DeWine’s newest guidelines.

Watch Gov. DeWine’s full remarks on Tuesday from Columbus:

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