Release Date: July 14,2020
City of Akron Passes Local Face Covering Mandate
Ordinance will remain in effect even if State of Ohio order is lifted; civil penalties will be enforced by Summit County Public Health
Akron, Ohio, July 14, 2020 – Yesterday, Akron City Council passed legislation to require face coverings in the City of Akron under most circumstances. The legislation was sponsored by Mayor Dan Horrigan and a majority of City Council members, including Council leadership. Akron’s mandate, which follows the Ohio Department of Health mask order for all of Summit County, takes effect immediately and remains in effect until further action of Council. A final copy of the ordinance is attached and available at www.akronohio.gov/masks. A helpful list of frequently asked questions is also available at www.akronohio.gov/maskFAQ.
Passing a local ordinance allows the City of Akron to pursue civil penalties (instead of the criminal penalties available under the state order) and to maintain the mandatory face covering order as long as necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19. The State order for Summit County remains in effect only while Summit County remains in a “red” or “purple” status under the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. The City of Akron order, on the other hand, will remain in effect until officials of the City and Summit County Public Health (SCPH) determine that the ordinance is no longer needed to protect public health.
“All enforcement of this order will focus first on outreach, education, and support,” Mayor Horrigan said. “This is not designed to be punitive, but we need all our residents and businesses to take this seriously.”
All enforcement of the proposed order would be administered by SCPH. The Akron Police Department would have no role in enforcing the Akron mandatory face covering ordinance. Businesses that fail to enforce the requirements of the order within their establishment, after a warning and an opportunity to correct the violation, could face a potential civil penalty of $250. Individuals who fail to comply with the order, after a warning and an opportunity to correct the violation, could face a potential civil penalty of $50. Concerns of suspected violations of the City of Akron mask ordinance (or any state COVID-19 regulation enforced by SCPH) can be reported to the SCPH Call Center at 330-926-5795 or online at www.scph.org/report-non-essential-businessesor-operations.
“The goal of these efforts is to get as many people as we can to practice social distancing, follow healthy hygiene guidelines, and wear masks, as often as possible,” Mayor Horrigan added. “If a critical mass of our citizens step up and do their part, we will be able to control the virus and be in the best position to get kids back in school, keep our economy and society going, and protect our loved ones, neighbors, and coworkers from the worst consequences of this disease. It is during times like these that we really learn what we are made of. And I’m confident Akron will continue to be an example of decency and unity during these challenging times.”