In the continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the Franklin County Board of Health adopted an emergency order mandating facial coverings during their monthly meeting today. This action provides a uniform facial covering policy across all of Columbus and Franklin County.
Each person within Franklin County’s jurisdiction*, except as specifically exempted in the order, must wear a face covering whenever they are:
- In any indoor location that is not a residence;
- When outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; or
- While waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private car service, or a ride-sharing vehicle.
The order does not apply to children under the age of 10. The order also reflects the mask guidance in place for employees and businesses which does not require a person to wear a mask if their physician advises against it, if wearing a mask is prohibited by federal regulation, if communicating with the hearing impaired, when alone in an office or personal workspace, and other similar measures.
Franklin County is currently designated as Level 3 (red) in the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert system and is covered by the Ohio Department of Health Director’s Order for Facial Coverings. The order adopted by the Board of Health today will remain in effect should Franklin County decrease to a Level 1 or Level 2 and no longer falls under the State Facial Covering Order.
The order does not have an end date and will remain in place until it is rescinded by the Board. This Order does not amend, supersede, rescind, or in any way modify the orders issued by the Ohio Department of Health.
Franklin County Public Health will use an education first approach to enforcement. However should enforcement be necessary, it will begin with a written warning. Subsequent violations may be referred to law enforcement for investigation and potential prosecution.
According to the CDC, cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The Board encourages everyone to do their part to help slow the spread. The use of face coverings, along with proper handwashing and social distancing, is the best way to keep everyone safe and our businesses open.
* Franklin County Board of Health oversees Franklin County Public Health (FCPH). FCPH provides public health service to all the townships and villages in Franklin County and to the cities of Bexley, Canal Winchester, Dublin, Gahanna, Grandview, Grove City, Groveport, Hilliard, New Albany, Pickerington, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Westerville, and Whitehall.