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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said Tuesday he will be issuing an order mandating students in grades K-12 wear masks while in school during the coronavirus pandemic.

DeWine noted that the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and the Ohio chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidance Tuesday recommending masks in school to “[reduce] the chances of an infected individual passing the virus onto others.

“I'm announcing today that we will be issuing an order that reflects this policy statewide. This gives us the best shot to keep Ohio's kids and educators safe and physically in school,” DeWine tweeted.

The governor added that he’s working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to distribute 2 million masks to schools for use by both students and staff. The masks will be passed out by regional education service centers serving as distribution partners to the state government. 

We are working w/ @FEMA to distribute 2M masks to schools for use by students and staff. We’ll deliver these to regional education service centers serving as our distribution partners so schools and families have access to the resources they for the coming school year.

— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) August 4, 2020

The new guidance from the Ohio medical groups Tuesday included exceptions for children under the age of 2, any child unable to remove their face mask without assistance, a child with a significant “behavioral/psychological issue” or "severe autism" and a child with a “facial deformity that causes airway obstruction.”

The announcement comes as states across the country grapple with if and how to reopen schools this fall. President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE and Republicans in Washington have pushed for schools to open their doors and hold in-person classes, while Democrats have advocated for a more cautious approach.

Ohio was lauded for its initial response to the coronavirus pandemic in the state when the outbreak began earlier this year, though it has seen a rise in cases recently. The state has had more than 95,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and over 3,500 people there have died.

Tags Donald Trump Mike DeWine Ohio COVID-19 pandemic Coronavirus

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Chicago protest: Hundreds of students expected to rally in Loop, asking Pritzker to bring back fall sports

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds of students are expected to gather outside the Thompson Center in Chicago's Loop Saturday, asking Gov. JB Pritzker to work with the Illinois High School Association to bring back fall sports.

Student-athletes from around the state are demanding the return of athletic activities.

Contact sports have been pushed back to the spring over fears of COVID-19.

On Friday, the IHSA Sports Medicine Committee spoke with the Illinois Department of Public Health about the return of fall sports.

RELATED: Orland Park rallies to demand return of fall sports, in-person learning
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Orland Park is the latest suburb to hold a rally demanding the return of fall sports and in-person classes, despite the governor's insistence it's not safe.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike spoke with the IHSA Board about its safety plan for those sports, including football, soccer and volleyball, sources have said.

The IDPH is looking over the IHSA's return-to-play guidelines for each sport, which the IHSA Sports Medicine Committee put together.

Pritzker said that even though other states are allowing high school football and other contact sports, his scientific advisers, including Chicago doctors, said the risk for spreading COVID-19 is still too high.

But advocates remain hopeful.

"The one thing you haven't heard the governor say is that there will absolutely not be additional fall sports," said Joe Trost, an advocate for student-athletes. "He hasn't said that everything will be pushed to next spring. There's been conversations going on behind-the-scenes with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the IHSA Sports Medicine Committee. ... They've been having communication throughout the week."

RELATED: Hinsdale South High School football player tests positive for COVID-19, football program shut down for 2 weeks
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Hinsdale South High School officials confirmed a student in its football program has tested positive for COVID-19.

Students are asking state leaders to get to the table and look at what surrounding Midwestern states are doing, and what 80% of the U.S. is doing on and off the field.

Minnesota is expected to reinstate all fall sports on Monday.

If that happened, Illinois would be one of only 11 states not playing this fall.

Along with Saturday's rally, a group of parents is also reportedly in the process of filing a lawsuit against the governor and the IHSA, hoping legal action could help the process of bringing back sports.

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