Masks no longer required to enter Dayton federal building

The front windows of the Walter H. Rice Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse downtown. THOMAS GNAU / STAFF

Credit: Thomas Gnau

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The front windows of the Walter H. Rice Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse downtown. THOMAS GNAU / STAFF

Credit: Thomas Gnau

People visiting courtrooms in the downtown Dayton federal building no longer need to wear facemasks to get inside, according to an order issued by the chief judge of the Southern District of Ohio.

The order says effective Tuesday, the court located at 200 W. Second St. suspended the requirement for individuals to wear masks in common areas.

“Masks are optional within the courthouses, and building signage will reflect that fact,” the order says.

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There were some stipulations to the change. For instance, judicial officers are encouraged to make masks a requirement during events involving a large number of people and potential jury members will need to wear masks during jury selection. It’s not uncommon for a large number of potential jury members to be seated together during the selection process.

People were seen inside the courthouse Tuesday wearing masks.

People visiting the courthouse will no longer be asked about their vaccination status and will not need to get their temperature taken either, the order says. The changes also apply for the federal buildings in Cincinnati and in Columbus.

In September, the court issued an order requiring all visitors to wear a facemask when visiting the federal building. It also required all employees who did not get a COVID-19 vaccine to get tested weekly. Those requirements have since been discontinued.

Masks are still required to be worn in the Montgomery County Common Pleas Courthouse and in Dayton Municipal Court.

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