Update: Gov. Mike DeWine has issued an order, which will go into effect tomorrow at 6 p.m., in which residents of Franklin, Hamilton, Cuyahoga, Montgomery, Trumbull, Huron, and Butler counties will be required to wear facial coverings, with children under 10 and those with a medical reason not to wear a mask being exempt.
Monday evening, Columbus City Council passed an ordinance “directing residents to wear facial masks or coverings in public spaces.” Monday’s press release from City Council stated that residents and businesses would be issued a civil citation if they’re not in accordance with the ordinance.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know to properly follow the ordinance:
- Facial masks or coverings must be worn by residents over the age of six in all public spaces where a six-foot social distancing radius cannot be maintained.
- Residents who don’t comply with the new ordinance will be issued a warning upon first violations and will face fines of $25 for second and any future violations.
- Columbus Public Health will be issuing a warning to businesses for a first violation, a $500 fine for a second violation, and a $1,000 fine for a third violation.
- Those who are exempt from the ordinance include
- people in personal vehicles, schools, and places of worship
- people with medical or behavioral conditions
- children under the age of six
- people actively eating or drinking
- people exercising
- those communicating with someone hearing impaired.
- The ordinance went into effect at 8 a.m. today.
- The ordinance also replaces Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s executive order on Friday, which at the time didn’t include any civil citation.
- Upper Arlington, Westerville, Worthington, and Hilliard followed suit on Monday, according to a report from Columbus Business First, issuing face mask mandates of their own, which come along with the following fines:
- $150 fine and a misdemeanor in Upper Arlington
- Westerville businesses and vehicle operators are allowed to deny service to those who don’t wear a mask
- $25 fine in Worthington
- $150 fine and a minor misdemeanor in Hilliard
Before the ordinance, only businesses and organizations were subject to be written up for violating Ginther’s executive order. Before Ginther issued his executive order on Friday, Dayton had already set an $85 fine for violating the city’s face covering ordinance.
The specific language of the ordinance is as follows: “Covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face.”
“With no vaccine or cure for COVID-19, face coverings are one of the best tools we have to help protect health and prevent the spread of disease in our community,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts. “With COVID-19 cases on the rise, it is critical for everyone to wear a face covering whenever they are out in public, in addition to social distancing and washing your hands. It takes all of us doing whatever we can to protect our community during this pandemic.”