Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz today is joining other mayors across Ohio to declare that all residents of Toledo should wear face coverings when in public.
Covid-19 is a respiratory disease that can result in very serious illness or death. The virus is easily spread between individuals who are in close contact through the respiratory droplets of an infected person when coughing, sneezing, talking, and singing.
“The increase in Covid-19 cases requires us to take this important action to protect our residents and our businesses,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “Masks will save lives, and every day matters. Given the choice of a mask or the risk of hospitalization and further economic pain, I am certain Toledoans will choose to wear a face covering.”
The declaration requires face coverings to be worn, covering the mouth and nose, in enclosed areas with others. This includes grocery stores, retail stores, pharmacies, health care facilities, libraries, bars, restaurants, and while using public transportation. Individuals are not required to wear masks at a religious facility. However, the city, along with the local and state health departments, and the CDC, strongly recommend the wearing of masks at any public place.
The declaration allows for some exemptions, including medical conditions, children younger than 6, or the need to communicate via lip-reading with someone who has a hearing impairment. Wearers may remove the covering to eat or drink.
Although the Mayor’s declaration does not carry the force of law, the Mayor hopes that it will provide fair notice to Toledoans to begin wearing masks as a health necessity. The Mayor expects City Council to adopt an Ordinance on Tuesday that will allow a mask policy to be enforced, as other cities in Ohio have already done.
Meanwhile Governor DeWine declared Wood County to now be "Red" which means mandatory face masks. Fairfield, Pickaway, Clermont, Lorain, Summit and Wood will join six other counties, including Franklin, in being required under a state health order to wear face masks in public in a bid to help choke off the spread of coronavirus. Face coverings are mandated in the latest counties beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.