Mayor: All residents should wear face coverings in public, enclosed spaces
Following suit of cities across the country and state, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz has declared that all residents of the city should be wearing face coverings when in public.
The order does not carry the force of law, though in a post on Facebook Thursday, the mayor's office says he hopes it will "provide fair notice to Toledoans to begin wearing masks as a health necessity."
“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 mayor's declaration requires masks to be worn over the nose and mouth when in enclosed areas with other people, including places like grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare facilities, libraries, bars, restaurants, and on public transit. Religious facilities are exempt, though it is still strongly recommended.
There are 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.
The post went on to say that the mayor is hoping the Toledo City Council will adopt an ordinance that will enforce a mask requirement. The council was set to take up a vote on such an ordinance on Tuesday, but the
"City Council is still currently in discussions right now," City Council member Nick Komives said. "What do we want this to look like? Do we want to apply a fine to individuals? Do we want to have companies, organizations, businesses ultimately responsible?"