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AKRON, Ohio (WJW)– Akron City Council passed an ordinance on Monday that requires people to wear masks in public places.

Mayor Dan Horrigan submitted the legislation last week with support from multiple people on council in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It passed 11-0 with one abstention.

“Covid is going to be while us for a while, hopefully not forever. And while we do this, hoping we can stop the spread by wearing a mask,” the mayor said.

According to the legislation, the mask mandate is effective immediately.

Horrigan said they are not trying to criminalize people or businesses, but hope to educate people on the dangers of community spread of COVID-19. He said repeat offenders will be fined: $50 for individuals and $250 for businesses.

Face coverings are mandatory:

  • When entering, exiting or waiting in line to enter a place of business that is open to the public, and while inside a place of business
  • When entering, exiting or waiting in line to enter a city of Akron-operated building or facility that is open to the public, and while inside a place of business
  • In any public transportation, such as a bus, taxi or ridesharing vehicle
  • In any outdoor space when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintain from others who are not members of the same household
  • In common areas of multi-unit housing, including hallways, stairways, elevators and lobbies


  • Individuals who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical condition, mental health condition or developmental disability
  • Children under the age of 10
  • Restaurant and bar patrons while eating or drinking, whether seated indoors or outdoors. Masks are required while moving about the facility
  • Walking or exercising outdoors if 6 feet of separate is maintained
  • While actively engaged in exercising at a gym as long as 6 feet of distance is maintained
  • When an individual is alone in their office, conference room or other personal workspace not intended for the general public
  • When inside a personal or commercial vehicle that is either parked or moving
  • Public safety employees or emergency responders when a face covering would interfere or limit their ability to carry out their duties
  • Individuals whose sincerely held religious beliefs, as defined under state law, would be substantially burdened by the requirement of a face covering
  • Any exceptions enumerated in the an Ohio Department of Health director’s order

Summit County is one of more than a dozen Ohio counties in Level 3 of the state’s Public Health Advisory Alert System, which determines an area’s risk for COVID-19. Once in Level 3, it triggers Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s mask mandate in public.