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Ohio General Assembly to tackle coronavirus-related bills as case numbers climb

Published By NBC4 on August 16, 2021
Jena Powell In The News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) - As Ohio averages more than 1,800 new coronavirus cases a day, lawmakers are set to return to the Statehouse with an agenda full of coronavirus-related bills.

“Our priorities in the legislature as we come back into session are protecting people from mandates and orders, not only at a local level but across the state of Ohio,” said Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum).

That effort will begin next week when the Ohio House Health Committee has called a meeting for House Bill 248. The bill called the Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act would prohibit public and private entities from requiring a vaccine, with some exceptions.

“We believe that individuals can work with their private health care provider and figure out what’s best for them and their health,” Powell said.

Opponents of the bill include numerous health care providers who said those who refuse to be vaccinated are endangering more than just themselves.

“This is about public health and safety and about your community, it’s really not about your choice and your body,” said Dr. Anita Somani, a Columbus physician with the Committee to Protect Health Care.

These potential changes to what pandemic policies would be allowed come as Ohio’s coronavirus numbers climb.

“We are definitely seeing a surge and it’s a surge that didn’t have to happen,” Somani said.

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