Bowling Green Mask Ordinance FAQS

Bowling Green Mask Ordinance

MASK ORDINANCE FAQS

WHAT DOES THIS ORDINANCE REQUIRE?

All individuals within the City of Bowling Green shall wear a face covering over the individual’s nose, mouth, and chin in accordance with the following:

  1. When entering, exiting, or waiting in line to enter a place of business that is open to the public, and while inside a place of business as to the areas within the place of business that are accessible to, and are intended for the use of, the public: (i) for purposes of this Ordinance, “place of business” means any facility, building or structure operated by or for a business engaged in the sale or other transaction of any kind for anything of value in exchange for goods, commodities, services, or temporary lodging and  that is open to the general public or by appointment, and includes, but is not limited to, grocery stores, retail stores, pharmacies, health care facilities, restaurants and bars (including outdoor seating for such facilities), hotels and motels (excluding the rented room or suite), gyms and similar facilities; but excluding religious facilities.
  2. When entering, exiting, or waiting in line to enter a government operated building or facility that is open to the public, and while inside a government operated building or facility as to the areas within such government facility that are accessible to, and are intended for the use of, the public.
  3. In any public transportation vehicle such as a bus, taxi, or ride-sharing vehicle or any other vehicle for hire or at a transit stop or waiting area for any public transportation.
  4. In any outdoor space or outdoor place where or  when a person is unable to maintain or does not maintain physical separation of not less than six feet from others who are not members of their own household.

ARE THERE EXEMPTIONS FROM THIS ORDINANCE?

Yes, the following exemptions apply:

  1. Any individual who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical condition, mental health condition, special needs, or developmental disability, or who is unable to remove the face covering without assistance, and any individual who should not wear face coverings under the CDC guidance.
  2. Individuals under 6 years old.
  3. Restaurant and bar patrons while seated eating or drinking. If a patron is not seated at his or her table or at the bar, a face covering is required.
  4. School individuals (including students, administrators, and teachers) on or in school or school district facilities, so that schools and school districts may follow the regulations and guidelines promulgated by their governing bodies and the Ohio Department of Education. For this Ordinance, “school or school districts” means any public, private, or charter school or institution that provides education for any or all of the following grades or education:  kindergarten through twelfth grade; or a university, college, or similar post-secondary institution.
  5. In settings where it is not practicable or feasible to wear a face covering such as when receiving dental services, medical treatments, or while swimming.
  6. Walking or exercising outdoors so long as physical separation of not less than six feet is maintained, or while walking or exercising outdoors with other members of the same household.
  7. While actually engaged in exercising in a gym or other similar indoor facility so long as physical separation of not less than six feet is maintained and the individual wears a face covering at all times when not actually engaged in exercising.
  8. When an individual is in his or her work office, conference room, or other workspace not intended for use by the general public so long as physical separation of not less than six feet is maintained.
  9. When inside a personal or commercial vehicle either parked or moving that is not a vehicle described in Section 1 (c).
  10. Individuals while acting in their official capacity as a public safety employee or emergency responder when wearing a face covering would interfere with or limit their ability to carry out their official duties or functions. These include peace officers, firefighters, and other public safety or emergency personnel that support public safety operations.
  11. Individuals complying with the directions of public safety employees or emergency responders as described in Section 2 (j).
  12. Individuals communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK OUTSIDE?

No, unless you cannot maintain at least six (6) feet distance from individuals outside of your household. However, if social distancing is not practical or if you are waiting in line outside of a business, then a mask must be worn outdoors.

WHAT IS A “PLACE OF BUSINESS”?

A “place of business” means any facility, building or structure operated by or for a business engaged in the sale or other transaction of any kind for anything of value in exchange for goods, commodities, services, or temporary lodging and  that is open to the general public or by appointment, and includes, but is not limited to, grocery stores, retail stores, pharmacies, health care facilities, restaurants and bars (including outdoor seating for such facilities), hotels and motels (excluding the rented room or suite), gyms and similar facilities; but excluding religious facilities.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK AT A RELIGIOUS FACILITY?

Individuals are not required to wear masks at a religious facility. However, the City along with the CDC and many other public health officials strongly recommend the wearing of masks at any public place.

DOES MY “PLACE OF BUSINESS” NEED TO REQUIRE INDIVIDUALS TO WEAR MASKS?

Yes, businesses should instruct individuals to wear masks while inside their place of business. If someone does not comply with a business’s request to wear a mask, they can be asked to leave. If the person refuses to leave there is an option to contact the Bowling Green Police Division (BGPD) at 419-352-1131 to request an officer respond to investigate the complaint. A Police Officer may  issue a civil fine to the individual or trespass the individual off the property if requested by the business.

Face Covering Required DOOR SIGN

 

DO I NEED TO WEAR A MASK WHILE IN A PUBLIC TRANSIT VEHICLE?

Yes, individuals being transported as a passenger are required to wear a mask.

ARE EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS?

Employees of businesses should follow the Responsible RestartOhio sector specific operating requirements. Click the link above to get more information from the Ohio Department of Health.

I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION THAT PREVENTS ME FROM WEARING A MASK; WILL I BE PUNISHED FOR NOT WEARING A MASK?

No, this ordinance does not apply to individuals with medical conditions, mental health conditions, or a developmental disability. Individuals should check the CDC guidelines for masks.

WHAT CONSTITUTES A FACE COVERING/MASK?

A “face covering” means a piece of cloth, fabric, or other material that fully covers the mouth, nose, chin, and is secured in place.    A face covering may be factory-made or may be handmade and improvised from household materials.  Face coverings include, but are not limited to, bandanas, scarves, medical masks, and cloth masks; and also include respirators, N95 masks or other personal protective equipment that provides a higher level of protection than a face covering defined in this Section.   A face covering shall be worn so as to cover the mouth and nose and chin in compliance with the CDC’s guidance on wearing face coverings.

WHEN DOES THIS ORDINANCE TAKE EFFECT?

This ordinance took effect on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. At that point, all individuals, unless exempted, must wear a face covering when in an enclosed area with other people present. This ordinance will remain in effect until October 31, 2020 unless extended by City Council.