DAYTON, OH — Dayton residents will now be required to wear masks indoors, city officials decided Wednesday.
Southwest Ohio is at the heart of a surge in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Mike DeWine said this week. To stymie the spreading virus, Dayton city officials instituted a mandatory mask law for residents.
Masks will be required on public transportation and inside all buildings in Dayton, except for religious institutions. Children 6 and under will also be excluded from the law, Dayton Daily News reported. Masks can be removed when eating or drinking.
DeWine issued a statement in support of the law. He urged other communities to institute their own mandatory mask policies.
“I support Mayor Whaley's and Dayton's decision to require the use of masks in public places. It’s an appropriate and welcome response to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in their area.
Masks are recommended by the CDC and medical professionals to help protect other people. Wearing a mask will allow us to help keep businesses open and help prevent further spikes. I encourage other communities to consider following Dayton's lead," DeWine said Wednesday.
Ohio confirmed more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday afternoon. That represents the third biggest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases in Ohio since the outbreak began.
Gov. Mike DeWine has said surges in new cases come before deaths spike. He has spent the week urging Ohioans to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.