Visitors to city facilities also are no longer required to don facial coverings.
As of Saturday, Dayton Live is lifting mask requirement for audiences at the Victoria Theatre, Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, The Loft Theatre and the PNC Arts Annex.
People visiting courtrooms in the downtown Dayton federal building no longer need to wear masks to get inside, according to an order issued this week by the chief judge of the Southern District of Ohio.
Effective Tuesday, the court located at 200 W. Second St. suspended the requirement for individuals to wear masks in common areas.
Many area school districts made the decision earlier, dropping requirements to wear masks In February. Centerville, Kettering, Northmont, Xenia and many other districts have dropped the requirement. So have others, including Tipp City, Troy, Miamisburg, Springboro and Huber Heights.
Wright State University is also letting students ditch their masks in many public spaces. And Miami University will only require masks “in classrooms during instruction, laboratory or other research settings, and in health care settings,” the Miami University student newspaper, the Miami Student, reported Wednesday.
Why the sea change? Nationally and locally, COVID case numbers have trended in a better direction for a while now, and the CDC a week ago relaxed its mask guidance, letting most people forego face coverings as long as COVID hospitalizations in their regions remain low.
There have been voices of caution. Dan Suffoletto, a spokesman for Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County, said his organization is still encouraging people to get vaccinated “to help protect themselves and others.” But he said the rapid decrease in cases locally and nationally is good news and affects masking.
“At the medium or low levels, there’s not a general recommendation for mask use,” Suffoletto said. “Each individual person, depending on their situation, may choose to wear a mask in certain situations, especially if they’re immunocompromised, or visiting someone who is.”
Of course, many sites still require masks, such as hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices. Dayton Public Schools is among a small handful of school districts that have maintained mask mandates.
And federal law still requires them on planes, trains and other forms of public transportation — although the CDC dropped its requirement that students and others wear masks on school buses, as of Feb. 25.
You can learn more about your county’s data by visiting the CDC website.