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It may seem counterintuitive, but health officials say that even after you get vaccinated against COVID-19, you still need to practice the usual pandemic precautions, at least for a while. That means steering clear of crowds, continuing to wear a good mask in public, maintaining 6 feet or more of distance from people outside your household and frequently washing your hands. We talked to infectious disease specialists to get a better understanding of why.

Why do I have to continue with precautions after I've been vaccinated?

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday said he has asked the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to become his chief medical adviser and said he plans to call on Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days of his administration.

Wearing a mask protects the wearer, and not just other people, from the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized in an updated scientific brief issued Tuesday. And the protective benefits of masks are stronger the more people wear masks consistently and correctly, the agency says.

Updated at 6:08 p.m. ET

Joe Biden is calling for everyone in the United States to wear a mask, well into the fall.

"Every single American should be wearing a mask when they're outside for the next three months, at a minimum," Biden said Thursday afternoon in remarks in Wilmington, Del. "Every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing. The estimates by the experts are it will save over 40,000 lives."

By Dec. 1, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 could reach nearly 300,000. That's the grim new projection from researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation — one of the more prominent teams modeling the pandemic. The new forecast, released Thursday, projects that between now and December, 137,000 people will die on top of the roughly 160,000 who have died so far.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine plans to issue an order that K-12 students returning to school must wear a mask.

The American conversation around masks and COVID-19 has taken a dizzying turn. For months, wearing masks has been politicized as a sign of liberal leanings. But in recent days, ever more governors — many of them Republican — have moved to mandate masks. This week President Trump — arguably the nation's most visible mask un-enthusiast — started referring to wearing them as "patriotic."

As the Ohio Department of Health reported the second highest single-day total of COVID-19 cases, Governor Mike DeWine ordered mandatory face masks for the entire state beginning Thursday at 6pm.  

President Trump took to the White House briefing room on Tuesday to praise his administration's response to the virus that has killed more than 140,000 Americans so far. In a reversal of his recent statements and tone, he acknowledged the severity of the pandemic and urged Americans to comply with preventative measures.

"It will likely unfortunately get worse before it gets better," Trump said in uncharacteristically somber remarks, encouraging Americans to social distance, practice good hygiene and wear masks.

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Ohio health officials Sunday reported 11-hundred new cases of COVID-19 and 42 more deaths. 

granville.oh.us

The Village of Granville is following the lead of other Ohio communities in requiring people to wear a face mask in public spaces. 

Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s Wednesday evening speech seemed to be a warning to Ohioans to wear masks or risk another round of shutdowns and closures.

Data released today by the Ohio Department of Health places 19 of Ohio's 88 counties -- including the most populous - under a level three public health advisory, triggering a public health order requiring masks worn indoors and when social distancing is not possible.  

wcpo.com

Cincinnati-based Kroger is joining Walmart in requiring customers to wear face masks or coverings in all of it's stores. 

newalbanyohio.org

New Albany City Council voted Tuesday to amend the city’s emergency declaration to include mandatory face coverings for customers and employees at all businesses. 

Congressional investigators are launching an inquiry into a handful of companies that landed government contracts related to COVID-19, calling the deals "suspicious" because the companies lacked experience and, in some cases, had political connections to the Trump administration.

Franklin County Public Health has issued a mandatory mask order should the county drop below the state's Level 3 public health emergency. 

Marian Jacques

The Ohio Department of Health is reporting another near-record number of new COVID-19 cases.  

Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has resisted calls to make masks mandatory in Ohio, but with the dramatic rise in cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks he has partially relented. 

businessinsider.com

State health officials Monday reported more than 800 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of confirmed and probable  cases to just under 58-thousand.  

MARIAN JACQUES

Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel has issued an executive order mandating the wearing of face coverings starting today. 

MARIAN JACQUES

Many Ohio cities are starting to require people to wear masks or face coverings in public spaces.

Updated on April 28 at 10:30 a.m. ET

In the pre-COVID-19 era, Michael Crotty's company, Golden Pacific Fashion and Design, based in Shanghai, sold curtains. But since the global economy ground to a halt, nobody's buying curtains. They're buying masks.

"It's pandemonium at its highest level," says Crotty. "It's the Wild West and it really is a unique situation where these factories that can make these goods are in the driver's seat at the moment."

Alene Candles

A New Albany-based candle maker is producing face shields to donate to the region's health care providers. Alene Candles says it's assembling 40,000 face shields to give to Columbus-area first responders and health care facilities.