AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Private gatherings with more than six guests are now prohibited in the city of Akron.
Monday afternoon, Akron City Council passed legislation introduced by Mayor Daniel Horrigan earlier that day that makes hosting a gathering with more than six people who do not live in your house punishable by a fine.
The legislation, which is in effect until Dec. 16, reads:
- No residential property owner or family in the City shall host more than 6 guests at a gathering
- Guests include anyone who does not permanently reside in the home, even close family members who reside elsewhere.
Small private gatherings with six or fewer guests are subject o the following restrictions:
- Masks must be worn at all times when a non-resident is in the same room or within six feet, unless an exception applies.
- Exceptions include: individuals under 10 years old, when actively eating a meal, those who should not wear a mask due to a medical condition, or when outdoors and maintaining 6 feet of social distancing, etc.
In a press release Monday, Mayor Horrigan said the limit on public gatherings was recommended by Summit County Public Health as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Ohio.
The mayor said the ordinance will be enforced by Summit County Public Health with support from the Akron Police Department.
Those who host large gatherings in violation of the ordinance could face a civil penalty of up to $250.
Reports of in-progress large private gatherings should be made to the Akron Police Department non-emergency line at 330-375-2181.
Reports of previously held large private gatherings, or other COVID-related complaints, can be made to the Summit County Public Health hotline at 330-926-5795 or online at https://www.scph.org/report-non-essential-businesses-or-operations.
“Enforcement will focus first on voluntary compliance. Our goal is not to punish, but to educate residents and eliminate the large social gatherings that are allowing COVID-19 to spread uncontrolled within our community,” Mayor Horrigan said. “Because the reality is that if we don’t take drastic action now, more of our neighbors and loved ones will die, our hospitals will be overrun, and our restaurants, schools, and businesses will suffer from additional shutdowns.”