Changes are coming June 2 as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine lifts most COVID restrictions in the state, including mask orders.
And the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is following suit. Starting this Wednesday, those fully vaccinated against the coronavirus no longer have to wear masks; unvaccinated guests, however, do. And masks will continue to be necessary in situations where there is close contact between humans and animals.
“Pack a mask if you want to participate in giraffe feedings, pet a goat or interact with the Galapagos tortoises,” said Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard in a release. “They will also be required for private animal encounters and behind-the-scenes tours. We are pursuing vaccinations for animals that participate in all of these programs and should be able to lift restrictions once they are protected.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a “fully vaccinated” person is one who is two weeks past their second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer and Moderna) or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). In Ohio, 45.38% have begun a COVID-19 vaccine and 39.86% are fully vaccinated, according to Ohio's coronavirus dashboard.
There is a federal effort to vaccinate at least 70% of the U.S. population by July 4. The CDC reports that as of May 31, 50.5% of the country has received at least one dose of vaccine, while only 40.7% are fully vaccinated.
The zoo will be hosting its own vaccine clinic with the Cincinnati Health Department’s Mobile Vaccination Unit on June 15 to help boost those percentages. Those who get a vaccine that day will also receive free admission.
In addition to lifting mask regulations, the Cincinnati Zoo no longer requires members to make a reservation to visit. General admission tickets still require reservations.
For more info, visit cincinnatizoo.org.