Columbus, OH,
17:11 PM

ABC6: Should Kids Stop Wearing Masks?

As mask requirements lift in many places for fully vaccinated people in Ohio and around the county, many parents are wondering what that means for children under 12 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.  Does this large portion of the population still need to be wear masks in public?

ABC6 recently came to Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases, for guidance.

Dr. Gastaldo says that while children are at a lower risk than adults of having severe COVID-19 cases, the risk does still exist.  That's part of the reason that kids who aren't or can't get vaccinated yet still need to follow mitigation strategies like mask wearing in certain situations until they can get vaccinated. 

"The recommendation for children below the age of 12 in public—as far as mask-wearing, is really unchanged at this point," says Dr. Gastaldo told ABC6 reporter Ciara Lucas. "Children who are going to be indoors in public should still wear a mask."

However, outdoors is a different story. Dr. Gastaldo told ABC6 that being outdoors is much safer than being indoors due to the air flow, so children under 12 are okay to skip the mask while outside, unless they are in a crowded space. Kids below the age of 12 are safe without a mask outdoors—unless it’s a crowded situation.

To see the full story from ABC6, click on their logo below.  To read a story about the vaccination experience for children in the 12-15 age range, click on the Columbus Dispatch logo.

Click here for more information about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine from OhioHealth.