Coronavirus: Here’s the Montgomery County sheriff’s plans for new mask requirement

Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies are required to wear face masks when face-to-face with the public — unless they are in hot pursuit of a suspect among other exceptions, Sheriff Rob Streck said Thursday.

Streck outlined for the Dayton Daily News on Thursday when deputies and other personnel are required to wear masks — and when the rules are relaxed — following a new Ohio Department of Health mask order that went into effect Wednesday for seven Ohio counties, including Montgomery County.

ExploreCORONAVIRUS: Complete coverage from the Dayton Daily News

Montgomery County deputies won’t be searching out people disobeying the order, Streck said.

“Deputies will continue to educate the public about the order as they have with previous health-related orders,” he said in a statement.

In addition to deputies, all on-duty personnel are required to wear a covering over their nose and mouth in the following situations while the county is under the Ohio Department of Health order, according to Streck.

• When inside an occupied structure intended for the use of the public

• When inside a residence and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from others

• When inside a vehicle occupied by another except when all others are in a separate compartment with an independent air circulation system like a transport van

• When in common areas of government-owned buildings (hallways, elevators, stairways, conference rooms) and unable to maintain a distance of six feet or more from others

• Any time there is face-to-face contact with the public

MORE: What to know about the new mask order in area counties

But there are exceptions under the following circumstances, according to Streck.

• When engaged in a foot or vehicle pursuit

• When there is a language barrier, or the facial covering hinders communication

• When in an office, workspace or conference room not intended for use by the general public and a distance from others of six feet or more is maintained

• When acting in an official capacity and wearing a face covering would interfere with or limit the ability to safely carry out official duties or functions

• If an employee’s doctor advises against the use of mask

FIRST REPORT: Sheriff: ‘Please do not call 911’ about mask mandates

All inmates at the county jail were issued either surgical style masks or cloth masks that are rewashed. Masks of those in isolated or quarantined cells are laundered three times a week, according to the office.

When the Department of Health order went into effect countywide Wednesday, the sheriff asked the public not to dial the emergency number to report mask violators.

“We’d like to remind the public that 911 should only be used in the case of an emergency to ensure that those who need immediate, life-saving help can get the attention they need without delay,” Streck said. “Please do not call 911 to report people who may not be complying with the mandated mask order.”

MORE: Coronavirus: Montgomery, Butler counties remain high risk for virus exposure, spread

Anyone with questions about the state order should contact Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County at 937-225-6217 or the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-427-5634, according to the sheriff’s office.

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