Columbus drops mask mandate as COVID cases fall


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s capital and largest city has dropped its mask mandate amid a continuing fall in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther had implemented the mandate in September as COVID-19 cases spiked driven by the delta variant.

“We are encouraged by the declining number of cases and that the burden on our health care professionals and frontline workers has been greatly reduced,” said Ginther, who signed city council legislation Monday doing away with the mandate.

Immunocompromised individuals and those who aren’t vaccinated should consider continuing to wear a mask, Ginther said.

Columbus City Schools, the state’s largest district, on Tuesday also dropped its mask mandate.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 1,718.71 new cases per day on Feb. 20 to 855.57 new cases per day on March 6, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.