City of Lakewood Passes Mask Resolution | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

City of Lakewood Passes Mask Resolution

August 04, 2020

Last night, City Council passed a resolution establishing a face mask mandate for the City of Lakewood, which Mayor George signed. “This legislation is another important step to combat the spread of COVID-19. Lakewood is leading the way in enacting impactful legislation to ensure that we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of this disease or another economic shutdown. Either outcome would be devastating to Lakewood and both can be prevented by wearing masks and practicing proper social distancing,” Mayor George said.

City Council President Dan O’Malley said, “I’m happy that Lakewood’s administration, City Council, businesses, and residents worked together to produce a resolution that will clarify our rules and protect the health of our citizens. We will now be able to enforce these important mandates locally and ensure that our businesses operate safely.”

The new resolution was introduced on July 20th and requires Lakewood establishments that have onsite consumption of food, beer, wine and liquor to comply with Governor DeWine’s statewide social distancing rules.  All customers must be seated, with tables limited to no more than 10 persons. Individuals must maintain six-foot social distancing at all times—including customers waiting in line.

Mayor George said, “One of the most contentious portions of the initial version of the legislation was a proposed occupancy reduction. We listened to our small business community and I sent a substitute ordinance to City Council removing the occupancy limit, replacing it with a codification mirroring the Governor’s order which accomplished our goal of additional enforcement measures for our safety forces.”

The new resolution requires people to wear masks in Lakewood during any of the following circumstances:

  1. In any indoor location that is not a residence, including common areas of apartment buildings and condominiums;
  2. When outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; or
  3. Waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private car service, or a ride sharing vehicle. This does not apply to private or rental vehicles where members of a family are sharing a vehicle.

This resolution shall remain in effect so long as Governor DeWine’s statewide mandate to wear face coverings remains in effect. “Face covering” includes any material covering an individual’s nose, mouth, and chin.

This City of Lakewood resolution also has several exceptions. People in Lakewood are not required to wear a mask under the following circumstances:

  1. The individual is under the age of 10;
  2. A medical condition, including those with respiratory conditions that restrict breathing, mental health conditions, or disability contraindicates the wearing of a facial covering;
  3. The individual is communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
  4. The individual is alone or in an enclosed space, such as an office, and which space is not intended for use or access to the public;
  5. The individual is actively engaged in exercise in a gym or indoor facility so long as six or more feet of separation between individuals exists;
  6. The individual is actively participating in athletic practice, scrimmage, or competition that is permitted under an Ohio Department of Health Order;
  7. The individual is actively engaged in a public safety activity, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters or emergency medical personnel;
  8. The individual is seated and actively consuming food or beverages in a restaurant or bar;
  9. Facial coverings are prohibited by law or regulation;
  10. Facial coverings are in violation of documented industry standards;
  11. Facial coverings are in violation of a businesses documented safety policies;
  12. The individual is actively participating in broadcast communications; or
  13. The individual is an officiant of a religious service.

Mayor George said, “These requirements and exceptions mirror Governor DeWine’s health orders. Also, this resolution enables the City to better enforce these rules. Without this legislation, the enforcement mechanisms remain with other overwhelmed governmental entities, such as the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office. Lakewood’s safety forces now have the ability to nuisance a business owner who is not abiding by the Governor’s Order and our legislation.”

Cuyahoga County remains in Level 3–RED Public Emergency status according to the State of Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System, featuring “very high exposure and spread.”