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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says masks are a ‘symbol of freedom’

DeWine said the number of coronavirus cases would 'get better' if 75-80 percent of Ohioans would wear a mask while out in public.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — “If we want to be able to go out and live our lives, this mask is a symbol of freedom.”

Those were the words of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine during his press conference Monday as he held his mask up for viewers to see.

“It’s a symbol of freedom because if you wear these, if we get 75-80 percent of the people who are out in public who are wearing this mask, we are going to see these numbers get better.”

Unlike several other states, Ohio does not have a mask mandate in place. It’s only suggested that Ohioans wear a face covering when out in public.

DeWine’s comments came when asked which metrics he is watching while considering the state’s next steps if numbers continue to go up. Gov. DeWine said there are seven metrics that health experts are monitoring, which he will explain more in depth during his Thursday press conference at 2 p.m.

“For example, out of that seven, Montgomery County was going the wrong way on four, and Hamilton was five,” DeWine explained. “That’s why the alert goes up. That’s why the warning goes up and we start talking about those two counties. We’re not liking what we’re seeing in Cuyahoga County, either, but they haven’t reached that stage, according to the health people who are looking at this data every single day.”

Although Monday’s newly reported coronavirus cases were slightly lower than Sunday, the increases are still above the state’s 21-day average.

You can watch Gov. DeWine's full press conference from Monday, June 29 in the player below.

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