Cleveland Requires Face Mask Wearing In Public

(Cleveland) - Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has signed an order requiring people to wear face masks in public in the City. Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced his intent to bring before Cuyahoga County Council legislation next week mandating the use of masks in the county’s public spaces.

On July 2, the updated Ohio Public Advisory Health System indicated Cuyahoga County has a Level 3 Public Emergency, or Red, citing “very high exposure and spread.” Cuyahoga County meets four of the five criteria for the Level Four designation including: new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, high proportion of sustained increase in emergency room visits and sustained increase in outpatient visits.

Cleveland City Council President Kevin J. Kelley and Councilman Blaine Griffin, chair of Council’s Health & Human Services Committee, said in a joint statement: “Cleveland City Council stands behind Mayor Jackson’s decisions during this unprecedented pandemic. This important step is vital to protect all Clevelanders from this deadly virus and any legislative action needed will be taken up at our July 15 Council meeting.”

The City of Cleveland’s order states the following are effective immediately:

1. Mandatory masks for all individuals out in public or in public spaces including businesses, restaurants etc.

2. Maximum capacity at any bar, restaurant, entertainment venue cannot exceed 50% of allowable capacity and must comply with social distancing standards.

3. Any establishment that upon 2 incidents of violating maximum capacity order will be ordered to shut down.

4. Mass Gathering Orders are still in effect. If incidents of more than 10 persons are gathered not wearing masks, enforcement actions will be taken.

5. If an establishment has an employee or a patron, who has tested positive for Covid-19, then the establishment must be sanitized to the standards of the Cleveland Health Department, failure to demonstrate such sanitization will result in the facility being shut down.

6. People should not gather during the holiday, except within the social distancing and mass gathering mandates, and shall wear masks and wash their hands often.

In addition, the following guidelines will be introduced via legislation submitted to Cleveland City Council:

Social Venues (such as restaurants, bars and clubs):

a. Employees failing to wear masks

i. Employees will be issued a $50 citation for failing to wear a mask

b. Patrons failing to wear masks

i. Patrons will be issued a $25 citation for failing to wear a mask

c. Venues failing to facilitate social distancing

i. Fine of $3,000 for first instance; $5,000 for each subsequent violation

d. Businesses failing to follow occupancy limitations

i. Fine of $3,000 for first instance; $5,000 for each subsequent violation

Mass Gatherings (Residential mass gatherings) - Residents or owners be issued a $150 citation for first incident; $300 for each subsequent incident.

Ride Sharing - Treat masks like seatbelts and issue a citation with a $50 sanction for each person not wearing a mask in the automobile.

The primary City of Cleveland agencies that will be tasked with enforcing these new rules will be the Cleveland Division of Police and the Cleveland Department of Public Health. The City of Cleveland strongly urges that residents do not gather for events, especially on the Fourth of July.

(Photo courtesy University Hospitals)

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