Yellow Springs reinstates masking mandate in downtown

Village officials say move a response to rising rate of transmission due to delta variant in Greene County.

The Village of Yellow Springs reinstated their mask mandate indoors in their central business district and in their government-owned buildings during an emergency village council meeting on Monday night.

Yellow Springs declared an emergency and also resumed virtual meetings for village council and board of zoning approval meetings.

The village said the decision was based on the rising rate of transmission due to the delta variant in Greene County and concern for the health and safety for those in the village.

“This is a constantly changing situation that we have to be on top of,” said Brian Housh, the president of Yellow Springs village council.

Housh said he hoped villagers appreciated that the village has been on top of safety measures.

Housh also said that while in June and July the council heard from the village that having a personal choice around masking was working, in the last few days, more people have approached council saying that a mask mandate should be reinstated.

Yellow Springs village council clerk Judy Kintner said during the meeting that council had heard from several downtown Yellow Springs business owners who were in favor of reinstating a mask mandate.

Housh said the village is also reconsidering having a street fair in October, but there have not been any final decisions yet.

Lisa Kreeger, a member of council and a retired nurse, said the delta variant is serious and is very contagious. She suggested anyone in Yellow Springs who is not able to stay physically distant from other people should be wearing a mask outside as well.

Kreeger said she also knew three people personally in Yellow Springs who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 and are sick.

“This is very disappointing,” Kreeger said. “None of us want to be where we are right now, but it’s a very harsh reality.”

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