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Do not call 911 regarding state mask mandate, local officials urge

Tom Nash gets a COVID-19 test Wednesday as he sits in his van in the Burnett Plaza parking lot during the Clark County Combined Health District's free COVID-19 testing clinic. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Tom Nash gets a COVID-19 test Wednesday as he sits in his van in the Burnett Plaza parking lot during the Clark County Combined Health District's free COVID-19 testing clinic. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The mandate goes into effect at 6 p.m. today

Officials with Clark County and the city of Springfield are urging residents not to call 911 to report violations relating to a state mandate requiring the use of face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The mandate announced by Gov. Mike DeWine will go into effect at 6 p.m today and states that face coverings must be worn at all times when indoors at a location that is not a residence. It also applies to those who are outdoors but unable to maintain at least six feet of social distancing from those not in their household.

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In addition, it mandate applies to those waiting for, riding, driving or operating vehicles associated with public transportation including taxis, car services or vehicles that are part of private ride share companies.

The statewide order requires everyone 10 and older to wear face coverings when in those situations.

However, violations should not be reported to 911, said officials with the city of Springfield, in a recent news release.

“Our 911 system is in place to handle urgent medical and public safety situations when every minute counts,” said Paul Hicks, the emergency services manager for the city. “Reporting the non-wearing of masks or face coverings does not rise to the level of an emergency situation, so we’re asking the public to keep that in mind as the governor’s mandate goes into effect.”

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Instead, those who have questions regarding preventive measures designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 should contact the Clark County Combined Health District at 937-390-5600.

Social gatherings of 10 people or more in the state are still prohibited under DeWine’s order. However, there are several exceptions to the latest mask order.

Those include anyone with a medical condition or disability or communicating with someone with a disability; those who are exercising or playing sports; officiating a religious service; actively involved in public safety; and those who are actively eating or drinking are not required to wear a mask.