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Mask advisory for indoor spaces announced for Cuyahoga County

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 1:46 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 11:03 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Executive Armond Budish introduced a mask advisory for all indoor spaces in Cuyahoga County.

The masking recommendation, regardless of vaccination status, came as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Cuyahoga County and across Ohio.

“Our mask advisory strongly urges masking in all indoor areas to prevent a crisis of COVID cases, hospitalizations and fatalities,” Budish said.

Budish’s announcement is only an advisory; not a mandate.

“I think that sounds very reasonable, I have no issue with that,” said Lindsay Smith, owner of Flight Cleveland in Gordon Square. “It’s difficult but if people can just have grace for everyone’s choices and for the folks in the service industry and healthcare workers all stressed out by this entire situation... I think that would be a nice ask of folks to have a little grace and understanding and put a mask on when they’re somewhere out in public.”

A separate bar and restaurant manager in Cleveland told 19 News he did not want to comment publicly, in part because he was worried about upsetting customers.

Prior to the conversation, he had not heard about the county’s recommendation.

Smith, meanwhile, told 19 News her wine bar has been hit hard by COVID-19 and breakthrough cases among vaccinated staff members. As a result, she instituted a mask-wearing policy inside a few weeks ago.

“I respect what everyone’s choices are, but this is the one we made,” she said.

The advisory was detailed during a regular COVID-19 briefing with Cuyahoga County health officials and politicians.

“We urge our businesses and municipalities to enforce the use of masks in all buildings,” Budish added. “And we urge schools to require masks for all students and staff so that kids can stay safe and learning in school.”

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