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Bowling Green City Council approves mask mandate

Although there is a mask mandate in the Wood County right now, that could change if the number of coronavirus cases go down.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green is the next city requiring masks in public after their city council unanimously voted in favor of the mask mandate. 

The idea has been in the works prior to Wood County being designated as a level-three county, which put a mask mandate in place across the entire county. But the Ohio Department of Health could change the status of a county at any time, which would end the county mask mandate. 

"So we end up having this sea-saw kind of a thing, which would be number one confusing and number two our goal is to not keep going up and down in the ratings," Bowling Green Council member William Herald said. 

Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Batey agrees with the idea of having individual cities enforce mandates. Batey believes city mandates are better than countywide mandates because it provides consistency.

"If a city set a standard for themselves during this period of time, I think it will make it easier for people to recognize. You know when you're within a city, this is their requirement," Batey said. 

RELATED: Wood Co. health commissioner aiming to reduce COVID-19 cases before leaving position

RELATED: LIST: Ohio cities, other states requiring people to wear masks in public

The mandate will have an expiration date of Oct. 31 If case numbers go up, the date could be extended and if case numbers go down it could end early. Council members want to have this mandate in place, so when BGSU students come back to campus in the fall they are prepared. 

"Students will be coming back, not that students will be coming back that's great! But that they're coming from different parts of the country. We really should get this put in place before students come back," Herald said. 

Penalties for not wearing a mask are still being worked out but range from a warning to a $50 fine. 

A spokesperson with the Bowling Green police department says they cannot specify how they will enforce the ordinance, but right now they are helping educate the public about the governor's current order.

You can watch the city council meeting below: