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 fulfilling their responsibilities outlined in the Ohio constitution and state law.
John Gatiss, Pharmd, Westerville