Religious facilities exempt from Dayton’s mandatory mask requirement

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton will be the first major city in Ohio to require masks in public spaces. It goes into effect on July 3 at 8:00 a.m. The mandate includes all enclosed areas except for religious facilities.

“We want to be proactive on the safe side,” said Ken Clarkston, Director of the Gospel Mission.

Clarkston said The Gospel Mission has remained open during the entire pandemic and has been able to do so safely by requiring their members to wear masks.

“They wear the masks when they come in the building. As long as they will stay their six fee — we believe in fresh air — but once they come in the building, we will ask that they put their mask on. It’s pretty hard to keep them six feet apart within the church itself,” he said.

Under the City of Dayton’s mandatory mask policy, individuals are not required to wear masks at a religious facility. However, the city, the CDC, and many other public health officials strongly recommend the wearing of masks at any public place.

“We wanted to make sure we protected first amendment rights but kept people safe,” said Mayor Nan Whaley.

Whaley said the mask ordinance is what’s best for people in the city.

“We see these numbers that have gone up. Today the governor showed seven counties that were what he calls ‘red’ areas and we’re in that and so we’re just trying to make sure we take the precautions this community needs.”

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