Face Masks Required in Public for All Seven Red Alert Ohio Counties According to Department of Health Order

The order goes into effect at 6 p.m. July 8 and includes Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Huron, Montgomery, Trumbull and Hamilton counties

Jul 7, 2020 at 3:06 pm
click to enlarge Face Masks Required in Public for All Seven Red Alert Ohio Counties According to Department of Health Order
Photo: YouTube screengrab

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health has issued an order that will require citizens in all seven red alert counties in the state to wear a face mask in public. Those counties are Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Huron, Montgomery, Trumbull and Hamilton.

The order goes into effect at 6 p.m. tomorrow, July 8.

So when do you need to wear a mask?

"Primarily, this will be when they are in a public place, inside," said DeWine.

This includes:

  • When you're in any indoor location that is not a residence.
  • When you're outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of 6 feet or more from individuals who are not members of your household.
  • While you're are waiting for, riding in, driving or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private car service or a ride sharing vehicle.

The mask order does not apply to children under the age of 10 or any other minor — or anyone — who cannot safely wear a face covering.

"The order also reflects the mask guidance that has existed for employees and businesses under the health and safety guidelines, which does not require a person to wear a mask if their physician advises against it, if wearing a mask is prohibited by federal regulations, if they are communicating with the hearing impaired, when alone in (their) own office or personal workspace or other similar measures," DeWine said.

Basically the order continues to follow the exceptions that have already been in existence for mask use and does not supersede any other order by the Ohio Department of Education or Ohio Department of Health for the use of cloth face coverings on school grounds. 

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted noted the onus of enforcing mask use in not on businesses — it is up to state and local officials — but businesses are required to comply with the order and should encourage customers to do the same. Violating the new order could result in a misdemeanor, but the goal is not to arrest people, the idea is to keep Ohioans safe, said DeWine.  

The county-wide order also helps cover the breadth of an area in a city, like Cincinnati, which already has its own mask order in place.

"This order will stay on as long as that county is at a red level or purple level," DeWine said. "We certainly hope these counties will drop out of that level. And if they do, our current order says the mandate of the masks in public will go off. This is aimed specifically at the seven counties where we are the most concerned."

DeWine added that this doesn't mean people in other counties shouldn't wear a mask in public. He said wearing a mask is a good way for your county to avoid moving into the red.

"We have seven separate counties with a significant number of people in the state of Ohio who we feel have a huge imminent crisis. And this is the most pinpointed thing we can do," he said. "If 75% or 80% of people in the state of Ohio would wear a mask when they're out, we will dramatically kick this virus in the stomach."

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