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Ohio’s capital city drops mask mandate as COVID cases fall

March 8, 2022 GMT
FILE - In this July 28, 2020, file photo, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther speaks following the announcement by Columbus City Schools superintendent Talisa Dixon that all students would start the 2020-21 school year online during a news conference at Downtown High School in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus became one of the largest Ohio cities to announce plans Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, to reissue a mask mandate amid a rise of cases and hospitalizations as a result of the delta variant. Ginther says he'll issue an executive order in the coming days that would require all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask in indoor places across Columbus. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)
FILE - In this July 28, 2020, file photo, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther speaks following the announcement by Columbus City Schools superintendent Talisa Dixon that all students would start the 2020-21 school year online during a news conference at Downtown High School in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus became one of the largest Ohio cities to announce plans Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, to reissue a mask mandate amid a rise of cases and hospitalizations as a result of the delta variant. Ginther says he'll issue an executive order in the coming days that would require all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask in indoor places across Columbus. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)
FILE - In this July 28, 2020, file photo, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther speaks following the announcement by Columbus City Schools superintendent Talisa Dixon that all students would start the 2020-21 school year online during a news conference at Downtown High School in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus became one of the largest Ohio cities to announce plans Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, to reissue a mask mandate amid a rise of cases and hospitalizations as a result of the delta variant. Ginther says he'll issue an executive order in the coming days that would require all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask in indoor places across Columbus. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)
FILE - In this July 28, 2020, file photo, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther speaks following the announcement by Columbus City Schools superintendent Talisa Dixon that all students would start the 2020-21 school year online during a news conference at Downtown High School in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus became one of the largest Ohio cities to announce plans Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, to reissue a mask mandate amid a rise of cases and hospitalizations as a result of the delta variant. Ginther says he'll issue an executive order in the coming days that would require all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask in indoor places across Columbus. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)
FILE - In this July 28, 2020, file photo, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther speaks following the announcement by Columbus City Schools superintendent Talisa Dixon that all students would start the 2020-21 school year online during a news conference at Downtown High School in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus became one of the largest Ohio cities to announce plans Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, to reissue a mask mandate amid a rise of cases and hospitalizations as a result of the delta variant. Ginther says he'll issue an executive order in the coming days that would require all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask in indoor places across Columbus. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)

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.