Effective 8:00 a.m. Tuesday July 14, 2020, Portsmouth City Ordinance #35 Requiring the Wearing of a Face Covering goes into effect. Here are some key sections of the ordinance:

SECTION IV. All individuals within the City of Portsmouth shall wear a face covering over the individual’s nose and mouth in accordance with the following:

a. When entering, exiting, or waiting in line to enter a place of business that is open to the public, and while inside a place of business as to the areas within the place of business that are accessible to, and are intended for use of, public;

b. When entering, exiting, or waiting in line to enter a City of Portsmouth operated building or facility that is open to the public, and while inside a City of Portsmouth operated building or facility as to the areas within the place of business that are accessible to, and are intended for use of, public;

c. In any public transportation such as a bus or other public transit vehicle regulated by the City of Portsmouth, as well as all Portsmouth airports, bus, and train stops. This includes but limited to a taxi or ride sharing vehicle or any other vehicle for hire, even if the vehicle is privately owned; however, this provision does not apply to people traveling alone or with household members or friends in their personal vehicles;

d. In certain high-density occupational settings where social distancing is difficult, such as manufacturing, construction, and agriculture and to include businesses or operations within North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors 311 to 339 (manufacturing), 236 to 238 (construction), and 111, 112, 1151, and 1152 (agriculture);

e. Workers in long care facilities (LTC), including skilled nursing facilities (SNF), adult care homes (ACH), family care homes (FHC), mental health group homes, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IID) shall wear a surgical mask;

f. Health care facilities other than LTC facilities must follow the face covering requirements in the CDC Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19).

g. In any outdoor space or place where or when a person is unable to maintain or does not maintain physical separation of not less than six feet from others who are not members of their own household.

h. County government agencies, with facilities owned and operated within the City of Portsmouth, are herby ordered to have their on-site workers wear face coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person. Public-facing operations of County government agencies, with facilities owned or operated within the City of Portsmouth, must follow the requirements for placed of business established in this Ordinance. All employees and members of the public shall be required to wear a face covering when entering, exiting, or within County government facilities owned or operated within the City of Portsmouth when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person.

SECTION V. All places of business shall require all employees, contractors, volunteers, and any other individuals that interact with the public to wear a face covering, and all places of business shall only sell or otherwise enter into any transaction of any kind for any value in exchange for goods, commodities, services, or provide temporary lodging to those who comply with this ordinance. Any manager, owner, or person in charge of a place of business who fails to comply with this ordinance may be in violation of this ordinance.

SECTION VI. The requirement to wear a face covering through this Ordinance does not apply in the following situations:

a. Any individual who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical condition, mental health condition or developmental disability, or who is unable to remove the face covering without assistance, and any individual who should developmental disability, or who is unable to remove the face covering without assistance, and any individual who should not wear face coverings under the CDC guidance. An individual is not required to produce medical documentation of the disability; however, failure to produce medical documentation of the condition or disability may result in the imposition of a civil penalty as provided in Section 9 of this ordinance.

b. Individuals under 6 years old.

c. Any individual that is actively eating or drinking. If a patron within a restaurant, bar, or banquet or catering facility and is not seated at a table or bar, a face covering is required.

d. Seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible.

e. When giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience.

f. Working at home or while in a personal vehicle.

g. When temporary removing a face covering to secure government or medical services or for identification purposes,

h. Individuals who would be at risk from wearing a face covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines,

i. When wearing a face covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle,

j. A child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the face covering safely on the child’s face,

k. School individuals (including students, administrators, and teachers) on or in school district facilities, so that schools and school districts may follow the regulations and guidelines promulgated by their governing bodies and the Ohio Department of Education. For this Ordinance, “school or school districts” means any public, private, or charter school or institution that provides education for any or all of following grades or education: kindergarten through twelfth grade; university, college, or similar post-secondary institution.

l. In settings where it is not particle or feasible to wear a face covering such as when receiving dental services, medical treatment, while swimming, or while acting as an on-duty lifeguard,

m. Walking or exercising outdoors so long as physical separation of not less than six feet is maintained, or while walking or exercising outdoors with other members of the same household,

n. While actually engaged in exercising in a gym or other similar indoor facility so long as physical separation of not less than six feet is maintained and the individual wears a face covering at all times when not actually engaged in exercising,

o. When an individual is in his or her work office, conference room, or other workspace not intended for use by the general public, so long as physical separation of not less than six feet is maintained,

p. When inside a personal or commercial vehicle either parked or moving that is not a vehicle described in Section 4 (c),

q. Individuals while acting in their official capacity as a public safety employee or emergency responder when wearing a face covering would interfere with or limit their ability to carry out their official duties or functions. These include police officers, firefighters, and other public safety or emergency medical personnel that support public safety functions,

r. Individuals complying with directions of public safety employees or emergency responders as described in Section 6 (q),

s. Individuals inside religious facilities,

t. Facilities owned and operated by the Federal Government are exempt from this order.

SECTION VII. Portsmouth Public Health shall have the authority to investigate and is directed to enforce the provisions of this ordinance.

SECTION VIII. If Portsmouth Public Health observes violation(s) by places of businesses failing to enforce the face covering requirements of this ordinance, the following schedule of civil penalties shall be imposed on a place of business:

a. For a first violation, warning of violation will be issued,

b. For a second violation, a fine of $500 shall be issued,

c. For a third violation and for each subsequent violation, a fine of $1,000 shall be issued.

SECTION IX. If Portsmouth Public Health observes violation(s) by individuals failing to comply with the face covering requirements of this ordinance, the following schedule of civil penalties shall be imposed on individuals:

a. For a first violation, warning of violation will be issued,

b. For the second violation and for each subsequent violation, a fine of $25 shall be issued.

SECTION X. Violators have the right to appeal civil penalties pursuant to and in accordance with Portsmouth City Health Code Section 203.08.

SECTION XI. For those individuals cited for a violation of this Ordinance who have, but failed to produce medical documentation of, a condition or disability that would constitute an exemption as defined in Section 6 (a), said individual will be afforded the opportunity to provide documentation of the condition or disability as part of their appeal as provided under Section 10 of this Ordinance.

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