States begin to mandate facial coverings in effort to combat COVID-19

As the majority of the country experiences a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, many states, counties and cities are mandating that face coverings be worn in public and when social distancing is not possible. Many of the mandatory orders follow the guidelines initially introduced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends that all people over the age of two wear a cloth face covering when in public settings and around people who do not live in the same household. The following list provides a summary of the varying face covering mandates in Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

  • Florida – Governor DeSantis has stated that he will not issue a statewide mask mandate despite the Florida Department of Health issuing a public health advisory urging residents to wear masks in public. The advisory recommends that all individuals wear a face covering in any setting where social distancing is not possible. Certain individuals, including those under two years of age or suffering from a medical condition, are exempt from wearing a mask. Multiple counties have introduced mandated masks, including, but not limited –
     
    • Broward County – Under Broward County’s facial covering order, people must wear a mask when visiting essential businesses for services or when providing essential services during in-person interactions with the public.
       
    • Miami-Date County – On July 1, 2020 Miami-Dade mandated that masks be worn in all public places including inside and outside locations. Masks are not required in certain situations, including when a child is under the age of two years, inside a private residence, or when a person suffers from an existing medical condition.
       
    • Palm Beach County – County Commissioners unanimously approved to mandate masks in public throughout the county. Individuals within the county are required to wear masks inside buildings where the public is welcome and outdoors when physical distancing is impossible.
       
  • Illinois – On April 30, 2020 Governor Pritzker issued executive order 2020-32, mandating that all individuals over the age of two and medically able to tolerate a face-covering, cover their nose and mouth with a face-covering when in public places and unable to maintain social distancing.
     
  • Michigan – The executive order issued by Governor Whitmer does not require that face masks be worn in all public settings but instead mandates that individuals, who can medically tolerate a face covering, wear a mask when entering a grocery store or pharmacy. Violation of the order will result in a misdemeanor under Michigan law. The order is slated to expire July 15, 2020.
     
  • Ohio – Governor DeWine has not issued a statewide order mandating that Ohio residents wear face coverings in public. However, multiple local leaders have already implemented or are considering mask mandates. For example, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish is expected to introduce a mask mandate to County Council this week. Additional counties, such as Franklin County, are also considering implementing a mask mandate in the coming days and weeks. Multiple cities throughout the state have already issued mask requirements, including, but not limited to:
     
    • Cleveland – On July 3, 2020 Mayor Jackson issued a proclamation of civil emergency mandating that all individuals in public or public spaces, including businesses and restaurants, wear face coverings. The proclamation is scheduled to expire July 31, 2020. Additional legislation is expected to be introduced to the Cleveland City Council which outlines certain penalties if masks are not worn, such as a $25 citation for patrons that fail to wear a mask. The Cleveland Division of Police and the Cleveland Department of Public Health have been tasked with enforcing the new requirements.
       
    • Columbus – Mayor Ginther signed an executive order on July 2, 2020 ordering all individuals within the City of Columbus to wear face coverings in “indoor areas accessible to the public and within the confines of public or private transportation regulated by the City of Columbus.” The order provides additional guidance for retail businesses, restaurants and bars, personal care businesses, child care facilities, and transportation. The order does not apply to individuals who should not wear a mask due to a medical condition or children under six years of age. Citations will only be issued to businesses and organizations that fail to require facial coverings. City police will not be authorized to criminally enforce the order. The order will remain in effect until further notice.
       
      • Dayton – The Dayton City Commission issued an emergency ordinance which, starting July 3, 2020, requires all residents and visitors to wear a face covering. The order covers all public enclosed areas including grocery stores, retail stores, health care facilities, libraries, restaurants and public transportation. Certain individuals including children under six years of age and those with a qualified medical condition are exempt. Dayton’s order remains in effect during the pendency of Ohio’s state of emergency order.
         
      • Cincinnati – Starting July 9, 2020 all individuals “entering, exiting, or waiting in an indoor line to enter a place of business that is open to the public, and while inside a place of business in the areas within the place of business that are accessible to, and are intended for the use of the public” will be required to wear appropriate face coverings. The order, issued on July 3, 2020, allows places of business to refuse service to individuals that do not wear a face mask when required. Several individuals are exempt from the order’s requirements, including children under six years of age and those that cannot wear a mask due to medical reasons. Violations of the order may assess a civil fine of $25.
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