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AKRON (WJW) — As coronavirus cases continue to rise in Ohio, Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan introduced legislation on Monday that would greatly limit private gatherings in the city. The ordinance has now been approved by Akron City Council.

The new ordinance, also sponsored by Council President Margo Sommerville, will last until Dec. 16.

Here’s what the legislation entails:

  • No gatherings with more than six additional guests will be allowed in private homes. A “guest” is someone who does not reside at the home.
  • When complying groups DO gather inside private homes, all must wear masks. Exceptions include while eating, those who have an underlying medical condition and anyone under 10 years old.

The Summit County Public Health office and Akron Police Department would be the ones enforcing the new ordinance. A potential fine of $250 will be issued to any owner or tenant of a home who is not complying with the ordinance.

The ordinance will be “complaint driven,” the city council announced during an afternoon meeting today, and people can report large gatherings to the police department at 330-375-2181.

“Enforcement will focus first on voluntary compliance. Our goal is not to punish, but to educate residents and eliminate the large social gatherings that are allowing COVID-19 to spread uncontrolled within our community,” Mayor Horrigan said in a statement. “Because the reality is that if we don’t take drastic action now, more of our neighbors and loved ones will die, our hospitals will be overrun, and our restaurants, schools, and businesses will suffer from additional shutdowns.” 

During the afternoon Akron City Council meeting, health officials discussed what was driving the recent uptick in coronavirus spread, as seen in the photo below, which was the basis behind the ordinance.

Akron City Council photo

You can read the entire ordinance right here.

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