Mayor Whaley not ruling out mask requirement in Dayton

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – While cases are declining statewide, many zip codes in Southwest Ohio have been deemed hot spots, where cases and hospitalizations are going up. However, masks are still not mandatory.

2 NEWS reporter Devero Bogart caught up with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley as she was getting a coronavirus test at the free COVID-19 testing site at Samaritan Health Center Thursday. Whaley said she is keeping a close eye on the number of cases in the city and is not ruling out making masks mandatory.

Whaley said she wanted to get tested because we’re seeing an uptick of cases in both Dayton and Montgomery County, but simultaneously, seeing less mask-wearing.

“From the grocery store and the vigilance in April, it’s going down each month,” said Whaley. “I think that’s one of the reasons we’re seeing an uptick frankly, so we need people to wear them.”

Cities like Miami, Raleigh, and Los Angeles require masks. Mayor Whaley said she’s talking with both the city’s legal department and Dayton-Montgomery County Public Health about the possibility of following suit.

“We’re keeping an eye on that, it is definitely an option for us,” said Whaley. “We’re looking at this number to see what percentage we’re really up among the disease and that is something we’re actively considering right now.”

Kevin Edwards is a Dayton resident and said he wears a mask where social distancing is hard, like the grocery store, but not when walking around the city. However he said if masks were made mandatory, he would be understanding.

“I wouldn’t be mad at all because it’s about our safety and their safety too,” said Edwards.

But Whaley said she knows many residents would be adamantly against the requirement.

She said she’s not ready to issue that order yet but if an increase continues, she will.

“What would be terrible is if we don’t wear the masks and we have to shut stuff down,” said Whaley. “So mask wearing equals an open economy.”

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