Lucas County has been added to the list of “Red Alert” counties in Ohio, putting a mask requirement into effect.
Those in counties designated as Red Alert Level 3 or Purple Alert Level 4 are required to wear a face covering:
– 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 or any other minor who cannot safely wear a face covering. 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.
The Red Alert Level 3 impacts a portion of the Swanton area.
“I received a call from the governor’s office a bit ago advising me that the Governor would be announcing that Lucas County would be going red,” Swanton Mayor Neil Toeppe said on Facebook. “This means masks are required when in public in Lucas County. This impacts the portion of the village roughly on the east side of Hallett Ave.”
The Lucas County Health Department is the responsible entity and enforcement falls to the Lucas County Sheriff’s Department, he added.
“So when you are going into businesses or visiting in this area please wear your mask.”
Fulton County is currently at Level 1.
The state is using 7 indicators to assign levels to each county. To reach Level 3, 4-5 of the indicators have to be met.
Lucas County met new cases per capita, increase in new cases, non-congregate cases and emergency room visits.
At his press conference Thursday, Governor Mike DeWine said the numbers in Lucas County “have moved into an area of concern with 393 new cases in the last two weeks. The average number of cases has more than quadrupled over the last three weeks.”
He added that ER visits have doubled and doctor visits for those with symptoms have tripled in the county.
“Lucas County has reached a tipping point,” said DeWine.
The mask requirement will be in effect beginning Friday at 6 p.m.
It stays in place until the county is lowered to a Level 1 or Level 2. The earliest it would be is July 24 because the levels are updated each Thursday by the state.