City of Toledo Mandatory Mask Ordinance

Effectively immediately, Toledo City Council has approved an ordinance requiring the use of face coverings for all people in the City of Toledo.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants).

Wearing a face covering will reduce community spread of COVID-19, which will save the lives of Toledo residents and visitors. Further, this small inconvenience will help us avoid significant spread which may overwhelm our hospital systems and could force another economic closure. 

Report a Violation

Businesses not complying with the Toledo Mask Ordinance can be reported to the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department for investigation. Please do not call 911 unless the situation is a true emergency.

call 419-213-4161 ext. 4
email boardofhealth@co.lucas.oh.us

Frequently Asked Questions

When should masks be worn?

All people within the city of Toledo must wear a face covering which completely covers their nose and mouth, unless an exception applies, when in public places including:

  • Stores, pharmacies, health care facilities, restaurants, bars, gyms, hotels, recreation facilities, City buildings, etc. Religious facilities are not included in this list.
  • On public transportation.
  • In common areas of an apartment building.
  • When outdoors and within 6 feet of people outside your household. 

WHO IS EXEMPT FROM WEARING A MASK?

  • Children under the age of 6.
  • Anyone who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical condition, mental health condition, or developmental disability. 
  • Anyone eating or drinking in a bar. If a person is not seated at the table or bar, a face covering is required.
  • Anyone in a setting where it is not practicable or feasible to wear a face covering such as when receiving dental services, medical treatments, or while swimming.
  • Anyone exercising in a gym or other similar indoor facility, as long as they remain 6 feet of distance from others. If a person is not actively engaged in exercise, a face covering is required.
  • Religious facilities may establish their own policies regarding mask use.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK AT WORK?

If you work with the public, yes. All businesses must require employees to wear a mask at work unless otherwise exempt.

If you work in a private facility, follow the guidelines of your employer. Masks are not required by this ordinance when you are alone in your work office, conference room, or other personal workspaces not intended for public use.

Masks are not required when they would violate established employment practices, documented industry standards, or a business’s documented safety policies. The City strongly encourages wearing face coverings in common areas or when around others, whenever it is safe to do so.

DO BUSINESSES NEED TO REQUIRE INDIVIDUALS TO WEAR MASKS?

Yes, businesses should instruct employees and patrons to wear masks while inside their place of business, unless that individual is exempt. If a patron does not comply with a business’s request to wear a mask, they should be asked to leave. The city of Toledo, in partnership with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, will first work with the business to provide education and resources for ensuring compliance. Businesses should engage with individuals who refuse to wear masks as required in the same way they would manage customers who smoke indoors, refuse to wear proper attire, or otherwise fail to meet the basic standards of their business and the law.

WHAT KIND OF FACE COVERING IS REQUIRED, AND HOW SHOULD IT BE WORN?

“Face covering” means a piece of cloth, fabric, or other material that fully covers the mouth and nose and that is secured with ear straps or otherwise tied so as to prevent slipping. 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, scarfs, 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. A face covering shall be worn so as to cover the mouth and nose in compliance with the CDC's guidance on wearing face coverings.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE MASK ORDINANCE AND WHO WILL ENFORCE IT?

The ordinance will be enforced through a joint effort of the Toledo Police Department and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. Businesses found to be in violation of the ordinance will receive a written warning for the first violation. For subsequent violations, the penalty shall be a minor misdemeanor.

WHEN DOES THIS ORDINANCE TAKE EFFECT?

This ordinance took effect immediately upon its passage by Toledo City Council on the evening of Monday, July 13.

HOW LONG DOES THE MASK ORDINANCE LAST?

The mandatory mask order in Toledo will remain in effect as long as necessary to control the spread of COVID-19. It will remain in place until repealed by Toledo City Council, in consultation with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.

DO CHILDREN HAVE TO WEAR MASKS?

Children under 6 years old are not required to wear a mask under this ordinance. Any child 2 years old or under should not wear a mask due to risk of suffocation.

WHEN DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK IN A RESTAURANT OR BAR?

Masks must be worn in restaurants and bars any time you are not eating, drinking, or seated at a table. Masks must be worn when entering, exiting, or waiting in line to enter, when getting up from your own table or seat and moving about the facility, or when in common areas of the facility like a lobby or restroom.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK WHEN EXERCISING?

No. Face coverings are not required while walking or exercising outdoors, or while actually engaged in exercising in a gym or indoor facility, so long as physical separation of not less than six feet is maintained from others outside your household.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK OUTSIDE?

Face coverings are required outdoors when within 6 feet of individuals outside your household.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK AT A WEDDING, PARTY OR GATHERING?

Yes, masks must be worn any time you are gathering with people outside your household, whether inside or outside. Masks do not need to be worn when eating or drinking. Masks are not required while inside a religious facility, but are strongly recommended.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK IN MY CAR?

No. Masks are not required while in a personal or commercial vehicle while parked or moving, so long as it is not a rideshare vehicle or taxi. Employees should follow the instructions of their employer for when masks are required in work vehicles.

DO I NEED TO WEAR A MASK WHILE IN A METRO BUS, TAXI, OR RIDESHARE VEHICLE (UBER, LYFT, ETC.)?

Yes, both drivers and passengers in any public transportation vehicle are required to wear a mask. Businesses should request individuals wear masks while in their buses, taxis, or rideshare vehicles.

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

Individuals are not required to wear masks at a religious facility or if wearing a mask substantially burdens a sincerely held religious belief. However, the City--along with the CDC and many other public health officials, strongly recommend the wearing of masks at any public place. 

I AM MORE THAN SIX FEET AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE, DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK?

It depends. If you are in a public area of a building, you must still wear a mask even when maintaining more than 6 feet of distance from others. This will help prevent the spreading of germs through the air or onto common areas surfaces. Masks are not required when maintaining sufficient physical distance outdoors.