With COVID-19 cases starting to decline, fatigue over mask mandates is starting to grow.
Due to guidance from Franklin County Public Health, the cities of Columbus, Whitehall, and Bexley all reinstated mask mandates back in September.
Today, health officials said the county needs to move down to moderate transmission of the virus for at least four weeks before the mandates should be lifted.
City officials in both Columbus and Bexley agree, with the mayor of Bexley saying that while they understand people’s frustration, they want to make things as safe as possible.
“For sure I think as numbers decrease, and hopefully as we see that being a long-term trend, I would imagine that people would become frustrated with it,” said Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler. “And rightfully so! I mean, we want to get to the point where we as a community, are safe in reducing that mask mandate.”
But Bexley residents remain divided on when that should happen.
“If you’re vaccinated, boosted, whatever, and you want to wear a mask, go ahead,” said resident David Dietz. “Don’t make everybody else wear a mask.”
“I see that the cases are going down, but for the moment being, I don’t think I would change anything, because nobody can really go outside,” said resident Ricarda Sarkar.
In the past two weeks, there have been a little more than 200 COVID-19 cases reported in Bexley.
While numbers are moving in the right direction, Columbus Public Health said it would like to reach a positivity rate of between 5 and 7 percent before lifting the mask mandate. Right now, that positivity rate sits at 14 percent.
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