YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Friday, Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown announced he’s making masks mandatory in the city.
“Gov. DeWine has told us that we need to implement things that are going to help our community,” he said.
Surrounded by elected leaders and local clergy, Brown said he will sign an executive order Monday, requiring masks be worn in public spaces in the city. To help encourage compliance, health officials will begin distributing masks to local businesses.
“If an individual comes in and says, ‘You don’t have a mask and it’s mandatory,’ that’s our first line of defense. We’ll provide them with a mask,” Brown said.
Pastor Ken Simon, with New Bethel Baptist Church, admitted requiring masks may be controversial for some, but added the alternative could mean stepping backwards.
“Our people in our churches want to get back to our assemblies, they want to get back to our corporate worship and we’ve already made it mandatory,” he said.
Brown said police and health inspectors will work to warn and remind people about the new requirements.
He also said the governor has been speaking with officials around Ohio about what could be coming in the near future if people don’t heed the recommendations about large crowds and social distancing.
“They’re talking already, in August, about suspending liquor licenses and/or shutting bars and restaurants down if they don’t want to participate.”