Governor DeWine announced that effective Thursday, July 23, at 6 p.m., a statewide mask mandate will go into effect for citizens living in all 88 Ohio counties. The is in line with the county and city-wide orders previously enacted. View the emergency proclamation signed July 2 by Mayor Maggard here >>
All individuals in Ohio must wear facial coverings in public at all times when:
- At an indoor location that is not a residence
- Outdoors, but unable to maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members
- Waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, such as a taxi, a car service, or a private car used for ride-sharing.
Statewide, the order only requires those 10 years old or older to wear a mask. In the City of Whitehall specifically, only children under the age of 6 are excluded from the order. Additional exclusions include:
- Those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability;
- Those who are actively exercising or playing sports;
- Those who are officiants at religious services;
- Those who are actively involved in public safety; or
- Those who are actively eating or drinking.
The Governor has also issued a travel advisory for those traveling outside of Ohio to certain states. Learn more on the State’s Order here >>
Note that wearing a mask is in no way a substitute for social distancing. All community members are still encouraged to stay home as much as possible and to wear a mask AND practice social distancing.
“While the City made a strong recommendation to our community that face coverings should be worn in public as a courtesy to others, we are at the point in our fight against COVID-19 where making this a requirement rather than a suggestion is necessary,” said Mayor Maggard. “We join others in the Central Ohio community in recognizing the importance wearing masks in public to help keep our vulnerable populations safe and conserve our medical resources as much as possible.”
Public spaces subject to the new requirement in Whitehall include:
- Retail businesses
- Restaurants and bars (except for when seated at a table)
- Areas of offices that are open to the public (e.g. lobbys, reception areas, etc.)
- Personal care and grooming businesses
Enforcement and Reporting Violations
Businesses who observe violations of this requirement have a right to refuse service. Enforcement will now be managed by Franklin County Public Health. Report violations online here >>
How to Wear Face Coverings
Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items can be used as an additional public health measure. Masks can easily be made at home from t-shirts, bandanas or other cotton fabric. Cloth face coverings should...
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Learn how to make a face covering >>
City Requires All Visitors to City Hall to Wear Face Coverings
In line with the above proclamation, the City of Whitehall has determined that for the safety of City employees and those we serve, all visitors to City Hall are now required to wear a face mask or similar face covering (both nose and mouth must be covered).
As with the State of Ohio’s order, reasonable exceptions will be made for those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons as well as for those under the age of two. In these cases, for everyone’s safety, we encourage you to determine if your business with the City can first be conducted online or over the phone, instead of physically visiting City Hall.
Similarly, while not required by the Stay Safe Ohio Order, we strongly encourage all Whitehall residents to consider wearing a face mask or other face covering anytime they visit a local business or are in a public place. This is in line with current recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Specifically, the CDC states that:
"It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. [The] CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others."
Note that this recommendation is for cloth face coverings, or other similar material, and not for surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
Thank you for joining us in considering those around you as we combat COVID-19 together as a community.