Beachwood City Council voted 6-0 to make mandatory the use of face masks in indoor public locations as well as for those canvassing door-to-door during its meeting July 6, which was held virtually due to COVID-19. Council member June Taylor was absent.
People who don't follow the ordinance and who lack an exception will initially receive a verbal warning, to be followed by an $85 civil penalty for any subsequent violations.
The ordinance defines facial covering as a covering of the nose, mouth and chin that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face.”
All customers must wear facial coverings while they are:
• Inside a retail business establishment
• In restaurants and bars when not at their table
• In office spaces open to the public when they are inside the establishment
• In any personal care and grooming businesses
While in a personal care and grooming business, “customers may take off their facial covering if they are receiving a facial treatment, shave, or other services on a part of the head which the facial covering covers or by which the facial covering is secured,” according to the ordinance.
Businesses are granted the right to refuse service to patrons not wearing face masks.
Exceptions to the facial covering mandate are listed in the final approved ordinance, which will be available soon on the city's website.
Council president James Pasch told the Cleveland Jewish News he strongly supported the measure.
Pasch said the resolution would cover patrons at restaurants when they aren’t at their tables and in public areas of offices.
“So, it requires the use of facial coverings,” Pasch said. “It has my full support obviously.”
Pasch said the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates the mandate.
“Science shows that a simple face mask helps blunt the spread of the virus,” he said. “It’s incumbent on all of us not just to look after our ourselves but also our neighbors, our friends and our entire community. If we all wear masks, we will be safer. And we must do our small part to save lives.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on July 7 announced an order to require the use of face masks throughout seven counties, including Cuyahoga County, effective at 6 p.m. July 8.
In a July 8 email to the CJN, Pasch wrote, “The city ordinance is enforceable with a warning and a civil penalty. The state order will be enforceable criminally. The state order will be in effect dependent upon the rating for the county. The city’s ordinance will be in effect until there is no longer a state of emergency.”
Either way, Pasch hopes residents will wear masks.
“At the end of the day, it is incumbent on all of us to mask up if we go out,” he wrote. “It will help blunt the spread of the virus, and will keep all of us safer. “