Residents speak out on wearing masks

By Darian Gillette - For the Portsmouth Daily Times

SCIOTO — Residents of Scioto County speak out on their beliefs when it comes to participating in the mask mandate.

At 6 p.m. Thursday Scioto County along with the rest of the state was put under a mask mandate until further notice. Recently Scioto County residents were already required to wear masks due to an upgrade to a level three in the Public Health Emergency advisory and Portsmouth City Council passing an ordinance requiring masks out in public.

“I think it is an important measure to help control the spread,” said Sharon Redoutey. “I also believe the mandate is long overdue in both Scioto County and Ohio.”

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, July 23, mask became mandatory for the state of Ohio, but Redoutey is still worried about how strictly the guidelines will be followed.

“I have been told some school districts are considering making masks optional for students which would put teachers and staff members at a much greater risk,” said Redoutey. “I believe that is completely unacceptable.”

Redoutey also believes there should be a hold on large group gatherings and the Governor should return to gatherings of less than 10 people until the number of cases lower.

Masks are mandatory at all public indoor locations, outdoor locations where social distancing cannot be maintained, and public transportation.

Although many residents are following the proper guidelines of wearing masks, some residents believe not everyone is following the mandate like they should.

“I would say 4/5 of the county are following the mandate and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines which is amazing and should be encouraged,” said Jacob Lewis. “The other 1/5 is the issue, unless everyone is willing to follow orders then our cases are not going to drop.”

Lewis said to him, masks are similar to seatbelts because seatbelts are required to protect ourselves and families from devastating losses. Yet no one fights wearing a seat belt because it is acknowledged it is for the greater good and the mandate serves the same function.

“I don’t think restaurants need to be open for dine-in, bars or other nonessential places do not need to be open either and churches can be back online,” said Lewis. “All of these are small things that can be done to make sure students can return to school in the fall and cases could be lowered.”

Residents also worry many may not have the proper understanding of why masks are being mandated.

“I believe if people were more educated about why they should wear a mask they would be more compliant and not so selfish,” said Kimberly Green.

Green said she believes if masks can help stop the spread and help keep people healthy then she is all for it.

“More education is needed!” said Green.

By Darian Gillette

For the Portsmouth Daily Times