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City leaders consider lifting mask requirements

A customer enters a restaurant past a sign posted to the door requiring masks Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Providence, R.I. As the omicron wave of the coronavirus subsides, several U.S. states including New York and Illinois ended mask mandates this week for indoor settings, while others lifted requirements at schools. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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AP
A customer enters a restaurant past a sign posted to the door requiring masks Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Providence, R.I. As the omicron wave of the coronavirus subsides, several U.S. states including New York and Illinois ended mask mandates this week for indoor settings, while others lifted requirements at schools. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

City leaders from Columbus, Bexley, Whitehall, and Worthington are considering lifting mask requirements in the next few weeks.

City leaders met with Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts and Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola to receive an update on the status of the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Robert and Mazzola report both COVID-19 transmission rates and hospitalizations have continued to decline dramatically. If current trends continue, each city expects to consider lifting local face-covering requirements in the coming weeks.

“Our collective efforts to control the spread of the virus have worked, and we look forward to lifting mask requirements in the very near future,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther in an emailed statement.

However, Ginther would not completely close the door on face masks.

“As we move from a pandemic to endemic, there may be times in the future when mask advisories or mandates could become necessary as new variants come to our community,” said Ginther. “We continue to emphasize that the vaccine and boosters are the best tool we have in the fight against COVID-19 and encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated.”

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.