The Columbus Dispatch

Suburbs must heed the advice and require mask indoors


In September, in the face of COVID cases and hospitaliz­ations spiraling upward, Franklin County commission­ers encouraged local communitie­s to adopt indoor mask requiremen­ts.

So far only Bexley, Columbus, Whitehall, and Worthingto­n have done so.

Because viruses like COVID do not heed our political boundaries, the resistance of suburbs like Dublin, Gahanna, Hilliard, Westervill­e, Upper Arlington, and others to adopt indoor mask requiremen­ts has placed the entire central Ohio region at greater risk.

In Westervill­e, our city council last month voted against an indoor mask requiremen­t, which was an attempt to back up the city’s now-expired emergency declaratio­n with meaningful action.

As COVID cases and hospitaliz­ations rise again, we are facing another surge, but with very few public health precaution­s in place, particular­ly outside Columbus.

Resistant local suburbs must heed the advice of our local public health department­s and adopt indoor mask requiremen­ts to help save as many lives as possible, and reduce demands on our overburden­ed health system.

Public health is a basic function of local government. By failing to act, suburbs, including Westervill­e, are not fulfilling their responsibi­lities outlined in the Ohio constituti­on and state law.

John Gatiss, Pharmd, Westervill­e

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