City Commission approves ordinance requiring masks in public places
Last night, the Dayton City Commission approved an ordinance that will require face coverings in public spaces.
The ordinance, which will go into effect Friday, July 3, at 8 a.m., requires people to cover their nose and mouth when inside public spaces or outside when social distancing is not possible.
Locations include grocery stores, retail stores, libraries, health care facilities, bars and restaurants, and public transportation. The ordinance is not intended to change the practices of businesses that do not directly serve the public.
The Commission took the action in response to concerns raised by Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County and the Ohio Department of Health about the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in southwest Ohio, specifically in Montgomery County.
The Commission also heard the call from Dayton's business community, notably the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, to take decisive action to stop the spread of cases in the city so that businesses can remain open and employees can stay safe.
Violation of the ordinance could result in a civil penalty of $85.00. Enforcement will be conducted on a complaint basis by business owners, managers or employees who are concerned about a member of the public not complying with the mask requirement while inside their location.
Customers not wearing face coverings should be encouraged to wear a mask or leave the premises. If they do not, 937-333-COPS may be called to report the concern. Dayton Police will follow up to investigate the complaint and potentially issue a citation.
Members of the public should not confront or report one another while inside a business. Instead, issues should be reported to the business manager for the appropriate action.
“I know that no one is excited about wearing a mask,” said Mayor Nan Whaley. “I know that wearing a mask is uncomfortable. I know that, unfortunately, wearing a mask has become a political flash point. But I also know that masks save lives. Masks are incredibly effective in reducing the spread of this virus. Masks are a small sacrifice that we can all make to take care of one another and to keep our businesses open as we continue to weather this storm.”
The ordinance does not require all people to wear a mask in every circumstance. Children under 6 years of age are not required to wear a mask. People with medical conditions, mental health conditions, or developmental disabilities which restrict or limit their ability to wear a mask are also not required to wear a face covering.
When outdoors, people must wear a mask only when it is not possible to maintain physical distance from others who are not part of their household. This also does not apply where it is impracticable to wear a mask, including eating/drinking, swimming, receiving medical or dental treatment, or inside a gym or a similar indoor facility where distance between guests can be maintained.
The full ordinance and a list of frequently asked questions is available at daytonohio.gov/mask