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Village Council

Yellow Springs Village Council mandates masks downtown

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At a special meeting on Wednesday, July 8, Council passed two new laws to improve the safety of downtown Yellow Springs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The most significant was a new ordinance, passed unanimously, that mandates facial coverings downtown and on Village-owned properties when physical distancing of six feet is not possible. It applies as long as the Village’s state of emergency is in effect.

The ordinance identifies three situations in which facial coverings must be worn:

  1. When inside any indoor public place if physical distancing of six feet is not possible;
  2. When waiting in line to enter an indoor public space.
  3. When outdoors in public places when physical distancing is not possible

The latest measure goes a step further than a Village resolution, passed on June 15, that encouraged masks be  downtown. While the resolution was described as a “formal statement,” and had no enforcement provisions, the new ordinance includes escalating civil penalties if someone does not comply. Villagers had been urging Council in recent weeks to pass an enforceable ordinance.  

Masks are now required in the central business district (red on the map)

The measure applies to customers inside all businesses in the central business district (see map), but only if they cannot be further than six feet from other people who are not in their group. The ordinance also applies to those walking on downtown sidewalks or visiting local municipal parks when physical distancing is not possible. 

Exempt from facial coverings are those under age 10, those with a medical or mental health condition, athletes engaged in a sports activity and physically distanced, those riding a bicycle or driving a car through downtown streets, those eating at a restaurant and others.

The ordinance also states that those making a mask-related complaint may not do so anonymously; they have to agree to act as a witness if it came before a court. 

The first infraction would carry a warning, followed by a $30 and then a $50 fine. In lieu of penalties, community service may instead be assigned.

Council also unanimously passed an emergency ordinance requiring all vendors and buskers in the downtown central business district to wear a facial covering. Vendors include those setting up tables on sidewalks and parking lots as well food truck operators. The measure also applies to musicians or other performers soliciting donations from the public. For food vendors, if they cannot wear a mask, then a clear, plastic barrier is required. A series of escalating fines are in place, followed by the revoking of a vendor’s permit, are in place.

Both ordinances were passed as emergencies and goes into effect immediately.

You can read the ordinances in full here: Vendors & performers ordinance and Ordinance requiring masks.

Council held an emergency meeting via Zoom on July 8, 2020 (screenshot)

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6 Responses to “Yellow Springs Village Council mandates masks downtown”

  1. Godvia Cherieamour Jones says:

    Some people have the “wear a mask” down pat but protest attire might need addressed. (Back in the 60’s we used to sew patches with catchy phrases on our jeans.)

  2. Ted Milby says:

    Sounds like everyone in the country over the age of 2 should always wear a face mask from now on… We always stand a chance of catching a virus. Pretty much any virus can cause death for those with “at risk” conditions. We should also wear gloves in public and everyone should isolate as much as possible. We should eliminate social gathering and require all meetings be done via remote technology. Most people have smart phones or other internet capable devices so there is no need of group gatherings.

  3. Kipon Trkin says:

    We drove through the village the weekend after this mandate, and guess what? People were wearing masks!! (except for one who may have had a medical reason and a young skateboarder) Mandates apparently work ! Who knew ?? I think some people just felt the importance was weighed by whether or not it was “mandated” or simply a “suggestion” Good work YSO!

  4. I. M. Sorrie says:

    Why are children under 10 exempt? It’s understandable for children under 2 but why the older ones? There is still so little known about the virus and its long term impact even for those who are asymptomatic. Is that really safe for kids?

  5. Lillith Brett Grace says:

    Symptoms reportedly are rising among younger adults and children and many do NOT have a fever at all! They may present with headaches, nausea, and gastrointestinal issues. The abdominal pain hasn’t made it to the CDC’s list yet but doctors reportedly are seeing it.

    The lack of fever is very concerning because so many rely on lack of fever as an indication of being ‘virus free’ and that is not true. (especially concerning with school starting soon)

  6. Bitney Snowall says:

    With positive cases on the rise it would be wiser to mandate masks for the entire state. MIS-C is here in Ohio and children who have been exposed to the virus are vulnerable to this syndrome. The CDC suggests children over 2 years of age wear a mask to help protect themselves and others. Fevers over 108 can result in brain damage. These are not times for half measures. I heard about a little one with a fever of 107 in the county where I live and they were awaiting test results for Covid. Please extend your prayers to include this child that he make a full recovery whatever the ailment proves to be. REPEAT THE CDC SUGGEST CHILDREN OVER 2 YEARS OF AGE WEAR A MASK TO HELP PROTECT THEMSELVES AND OTHERS.

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