Ohioans adjusting to statewide mask mandate

People in Ohio have had a jump on Hoosiers when it comes to adjusting to the new statewide mask mandates. In Van Wert, county officials are working with everyone to help encourage mask wearing while providing the proper level of enforcement.

Posted: Jul 28, 2020 3:10 PM
Updated: Jul 28, 2020 3:33 PM

VAN WERT, Ohio (WFFT) - Just like it has elsewhere, masks have become a necessity in Van Wert as Ohio’s statewide mask mandate went into effect Thursday, July 24

Now people are having to make adjustments to their routine. For Lynn Simson, it’s not much of a change.

She likes the mandate and has been wearing a mask from the start. Simson said, "There were times where I was the only person, like in one of the stores, that I saw with a mask on, but I just can’t take that chance at my age."

Katlyn Osborn called the mandate "horrible." She says she suffers from anxiety, so it's hard for her to wear a mask, but feels judged if she doesn’t wear a mask, saying "People have to make their own judgment on whether or not they’re going to wear one, but my statement is I feel like I have to wear one because everyone else is staring at me if I’m not, but I agree it should not be law enforced."

This was the sentiment of Van Wert County Sheriff Tom Riggenbach.

He said in a statement on the night before the mandate went into effect, “This order is a health-related order that falls under the jurisdiction of the local health department. The Van Wert County Sheriff’s office will not be enforcing this order...If someone is violating the health order, please contact our local health department for mask compliance complaints."

According to Britt Menchhofer with the Van Wert Health Department, that’s what people are doing.

They’re receiving more than a dozen mask related calls a day, but mostly about businesses and not individual people.

"I don’t know if we’ve specifically received calls about businesses not requiring people to wear masks," Menchhofer said. "I know at least today, I had, I think I took three different calls about businesses who weren’t wearing masks."

There’s no legal penalty written into Ohio's mask mandate, but the Van Wert County Health Department is working with the state and the local prosecutor to see their options, according to Menchhofer.

Right now though, the only thing they want spreading is information about why mask-wearing is good.

Menchhofer said, "Our main goal right now is to educate, not be the heavy hand here. We just want to educate the public and our local community members."

There are a number of health exceptions to the mandate, so Sheriff Riggenbach is encouraging people to not assume someone isn’t wearing a mask because they don’t want to and "to be kind and be courteous to one another, as we all go through this together."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
Elkhart17663230
St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
Vermillion6607
Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
Union2782
Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 399808

Reported Deaths: 6346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin52652672
Cuyahoga39132746
Hamilton31491372
Montgomery21355242
Butler15768149
Lucas15301420
Summit14667330
Stark9780209
Warren878777
Mahoning7985301
Lake752566
Lorain7149106
Clermont622953
Delaware597337
Licking589977
Trumbull5867148
Fairfield576464
Greene559568
Clark5438129
Allen518389
Medina496557
Marion489359
Wood4861108
Miami456268
Pickaway410548
Portage385574
Columbiana376599
Tuscarawas360567
Richland349639
Wayne340894
Mercer299248
Muskingum262510
Hancock257240
Ross251259
Darke246160
Auglaize243935
Erie240868
Ashtabula240454
Putnam234549
Geauga227051
Union20838
Scioto204316
Lawrence201139
Shelby199917
Athens19984
Seneca192919
Belmont176729
Madison172019
Sandusky166429
Huron163022
Preble162521
Defiance149923
Holmes146939
Knox139719
Logan139018
Jefferson138113
Fulton135826
Crawford134417
Washington133427
Ottawa128830
Ashland117328
Williams11479
Clinton113115
Highland108118
Brown10755
Hardin107019
Henry105423
Champaign10535
Jackson102012
Van Wert99918
Fayette97317
Guernsey96814
Morrow9682
Coshocton91015
Perry86613
Adams83813
Gallia81615
Pike7921
Wyandot76118
Paulding70012
Hocking68516
Noble65124
Carroll53210
Meigs41712
Monroe34921
Morgan2925
Harrison2433
Vinton2326
Unassigned00
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