AKRON, Ohio – The Summit County Board of Health announced Friday it has passed an order requiring people to wear a mask or face covering in most public places due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The order calls for businesses in Summit County to enforce the mask mandate among their employees and customers. Failure to do so could result in a $100 fine.
Residents wishing to make a complaint about a business not following the mask order, not properly socially distancing or not following recommended cleaning guidelines is asked to contact Summit County Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 330-926-5795 or visit www.scph.org/report.
The exceptions to the county’s order are:
People who cannot wear a mask because of a medical condition, mental-health condition, developmental disability, or as otherwise provided in the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Children under 10 years old
When someone is seated and eating or drinking
When it is not practicable or feasible for someone to wear a mask, such as receiving dental services, medical treatments or swimming.
When recreating or exercising outside, as long as the person is sufficiently socially distanced from others
When someone is in their own workplace in an office setting with sufficient separation from others
When someone is alone in an enclosed space, such as an office or vehicle
When wearing a mask is not recommended by industry standards or goes against a documented and reasonable safety policy. Those in professions which must communicate visually may wear a face shield instead of a mask.
When the wearing of a mask substantially burdens the practice of a sincerely held religious belief
When the state or federal law permits someone an exception or when the individual would be subject to a bona fide risk to personal health or safety.
The county’s mask order is in addition to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s statewide mandate, which requires facial coverings to be worn in any non-residential indoor location, in outdoor situations where social-distancing cannot be maintained and when waiting for public transit or another vehicle.
The City of Akron has also passed its own mask mandate. After an individual or business is given a warning and opportunity to correct a mask violation, they could face a civil penalty of $50 or $250, respectively.
Summit County’s mask mandate will be in effect “until the Board [of Health] determines that it is no longer necessary and rescinds the same,” based on factors including a decline in the county’s COVID-19 transmission rate.
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