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.
“Right now as of today’s date, for both Toledo and Sylvania residents, there are no legal repercussions if someone weren’t to wear a mask while in Toledo,” explained City of Toledo spokesperson Megan Robson. “It's more of a request from the mayor, a proclamation for the health and safety of the citizens of Toledo and surrounding areas.”
However, Robson advised that Sylvania City & Township residents, along with residents of the surrounding area who travel in and out of Toledo, should watch for the upcoming Toledo City Council meeting on Tuesday July 14, 2020. On that date there will be an ordinance that will be presented to Toledo City Council, and the Mayor’s office is anticipating a vote on the mask requirement during the council meeting.
“We would hope that on Tuesday there would be a vote,” Robson continued. “Though we don't know what council is thinking.”
Robson added that the Toledo mayor is following the suit of others mayors across ohio, such as Dayton and Columbus. And if the ordinance passes on Tuesday, anyone coming into the city of Toledo would be required to follow that, just as they are required to do with other laws and rules within in the City of Toledo.
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The above press release was issued by The City of Toledo on July 9, 2020. Sylvania News managing editor Amanda Kay did a brief interview with Megan Robson, City of Toledo, Acting Communications Director, in order to add in further information about how this statement impacts residents of Sylvania City & Township. Other than the addition of Sylvania-specific information, the wording of the press release was not altered in any way, including the headline of "Masks Required in All Public Places," which is exactly how the statement was issued by The City of Toledo.
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