DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – In an unanimous vote Wednesday, Dayton City Commission passed an ordinance to require masks in the City of Dayton. The decision faced mixed reactions during and after the meeting.
Mayor Nan Whaley said they’re following CDC guidance and recommendations made by Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County last week.
“Look, we all hate wearing masks, it’s one of the things, I know you all hate wearing them too, but look, we’ve got to get people vaccinated, or else we’re not going to kick this pandemic, and it’s killing people, and it’s filling up our health care systems,” Whaley said.
Masks will be required in all indoor, public spaces regardless of vaccination status, it does not apply to outdoor or open air venues.
It also does not apply to offices or spaces generally not open to the public.
If someone does not follow the mask mandate, they could be cited by Dayton Police and face an $85 fine.
Not everyone at Wednesday’s meeting agreed with the commission’s decision.
“I don’t think we should make nobody do what they don’t want to do,” Dayton resident William Dixon said.
“I know you’re trying to protect the citizens, I have a respect for your intent, I do not believe it’s the role to mandate vaccinations or masks,” Dayton resident Rennes Bowers said.
However, some said it’s a smart move, and gives some clarity amid rising COVID-19 cases.
“The least we can do is wear a mask,” Dayton resident Sam Webb said. “There’s a lot of confusion on what’s going on, and do we wear a mask, do we, I feel like this is a solid answer.”
There are some exemptions, like for medical reasons, children under 6 and when eating or drinking at a restaurant.
Whaley said the mask ordinance will remain in effect for as long as it is recommended by the CDC and Public Health.