AKRON, Ohio — As a result of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated recommendations on face coverings, the City of Akron has removed its public mask mandate.
Following a request by Mayor Dan Horrigan and Council President Margo Sommerville, Akron City Council voted unanimously to drop the mandate that had been put forth in Ordinance No. 214-2020, requiring masks to be worn by everyone in public.
The new measure will take effect immediately.
In a press release, the city cited the growing number of Ohioans getting vaccinated. City officials also said "the repeal of the face covering mandate should not discourage individuals from voluntarily wearing a face covering or discourage businesses and other places of public accommodation from establishing rules that are designed to protect the health and safety of workers and customers."
“We implore all Akron residents to continue to respect the rules that our local businesses establish and to make responsible decisions based on their own vaccination status,” Ellen Lander Nischt, City of Akron Press Secretary and Senior Strategic Counsel said. “Widespread vaccination has reduced the risk of uncontrolled community spread and will provide protection to those individuals who have accessed the vaccine. However, it is highly recommended that those who have not been vaccinated still continue to wear a face covering and practice social distancing since they are at a much higher risk for contracting and transmitting COVID-19.”
You can watch Monday's Akron City Council meeting in the player below:
The COVID-19 vaccine is now available, to anyone 12 years of age or older, for free. If you still need to get a vaccine, please visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov to find availability near you. You can also visit Summit County Public Health's website for a list of pop-up vaccination sites.
Akron's Lock 3 Park will continue to follow Ohio public health orders. With guidance from Governor DeWine’s office, the outdoor entertainment venue will not require masks, social distancing, or limited occupancy beginning on June 2, 2021.
The city says Lock 3 Park has plenty of space for those who want to remain socially distant. Visitors should also self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms before they visit Lock 3, and are asked to stay home if they're feeling sick or have been exposed to the virus.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player below is from a previous story.