Mask Protocol in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky
Ohio Mask Protocol
Dayton was the first major city in Ohio to make face masks a requirement. The ordinance, passed in response to the recent uptick of COVID-19 infections in Southwest Ohio and Montgomery County, requires people to cover their nose and mouth with cloth, fabric or other materials when inside public spaces, as well as in outdoor environments where social distancing is not possible. The ordinance does not apply for children under the age of 6, or for individuals with health conditions that restrict or limit their ability to wear a mask or face covering.
Governor DeWine announced on July 7 a new Ohio Department of Health order that will mandate face coverings in public in all counties that are designated as a Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency or a Purple Alert Level 4 Public Health Emergency. The order went into effect at 6:00 PM on Wednesday July 8.
Currently twelve counties are designated at Red Alert Level 3 which indicates that those in these counties have a high risk of exposure and spread:
- Butler County
- Clermont County
- Cuyahoga County
- Fairfield County
- Franklin County
- Hamilton County
- Lorain County
- Montgomery County
- Pickaway County
- Summit County
- Trumbull County
- Wood County
Those in counties designated as Red Alert Level 3 or Purple Alert Level 4 are required to wear a face covering:
- At any for-profit, non-profit, educational entities, or governmental entities (other than federal)
- In any indoor location that is not a residence
- When outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household
- While waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private car service, or a ride-sharing service
The Ohio Department of Health will update county rankings every Thursday. Any county that increases to Red Alert Level 3 will automatically be included in the face-covering mandate. Any county that decreases from Red Alert Level 3 to Orange Alert Level 2 will automatically be released from the face-covering requirement.
The previously stated rules for business mask usage remain in effect.
Michigan Mask Protocol
Since mid-April, Michigan residents have been required to wear a face covering in public enclosed spaces, and individual stores can refuse service to anyone not doing so...BUT no individual will be subject to criminal penalties for going without a mask.
Michigan is currently in Phase 4 of the Michigan Safe Start Plan. Governor Whitmer had planned on moving to Phase 5 by July 4, but when she saw the numbers spiking again, she quickly halted that plan. She has also recently stated that she will move backward phases if she feels necessary.
This phase occurs when the number of new cases and deaths has fallen for a period of time, but overall case levels are still high. When in the improving phase, most new outbreaks are quickly identified, traced, and contained due to robust testing infrastructure and rapid contact tracing. Health system capacity can typically handle these new outbreaks, and therefore case fatality rate does not rise above typical levels. Though a community might be in a declining phase, the overall number of infected individuals still indicate the need for distancing to stop transmission and move to the next phase.
- Michigan residents are required to wear coverings over their mouth and nose in all public settings
- All businesses are required to provide their employees with masks to wear while working
- Businesses are allowed to deny entry to individuals not wearing face coverings
- No individual will be subject to criminal penalties for going without a mask
Masks are not required for people who cannot medically tolerate wearing it.
Kentucky Mask Protocol
In Kentucky, masks are not mandated. However, they are encouraged to keep people safe and keep the economy open.
People have a choice on whether they wear a face mask in public. However, the governor says we can't pretend the coronavirus is gone. Governor Beshear has said that people will not be fined or arrested for not wearing a mask in public, but the order gives businesses the right to turn away any customer not wearing a face covering. He warned that if Kentucky’s cases started to markedly rise, he would consider mandating masks. Beshear promises 'mandatory' changes.
Governor Beshear repeated on July 8, in a written update, that the state’s “rising case numbers are cause for concern,” adding that, in his televised news conference on Thursday, July 9, “we’re going to announce some new requirements that are going to be mandatory.”