BEACHWOOD, Ohio — In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, Beachwood City Council voted Monday to require facial coverings inside indoor areas throughout the city.
By definition, facial coverings are defined as a covering of the nose, mouth and chin secured to the head or simply wrapped around the lower face, the city said in a press release.
“This is a public health requirement in the midst of the largest public health crisis of our lifetime,” said Council President James Pasch. “There is nothing more important than our health, and science shows that a simple face mask helps blunt the spread of the virus. It is incumbent on all of us, not just to look after ourselves, but also our neighbors, friends and entire community. If we all wear masks, we will all be safer. We mus do our small part to save live," Pasch explains in a press release.
All residents must wear face masks under the following circumstances:
- Inside a retail business establishment
- In restaurants and bars when not at their table
- in office spaces open to the public when they are inside the establishment
- In any personal care and grooming business. While in a personal care and grooming business, customers may remove their masks while being serviced
According to the ordinance, businesses are allowed to refuse service to those not wearing a mask. Those found not adhering to the guidelines will be issued a verbal warning, to be followed by and $85 fine.
Beachwood joins the City of Cleveland who is also requiring residents to wear masks throughout the city.
"If Clevelanders do not heed these critical warnings and prevention efforts, the effects will be disastrous to the economy and, most importantly, to individuals and families. No one is immune to this virus," Mayor Jackson said in a statement Friday.
In addition, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish is expected to introduce legislation next week that would mandate masks throughout the rest of the county. Cuyahoga is currently under a "Level 3" health advisory based on a new system introduced by Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday, indicating "very high exposure and spread" of COVID-19.
"Cuyahoga County has been hit hard in recent weeks by an increase in COVID cases, as demonstrated in the Ohio Public Advisory Health System’s designation of a level 3 public emergency in our community," Budish said. "I am introducing this legislation to help protect all residents, especially our most vulnerable. Wearing a mask is a small sacrifice we can make to save lives and significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Cuyahoga County."