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Government & Politics
WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Akron Set to Let Private Gathering Limits Expire As Summit County Remains Purple

Ohio corona map 20201210.jpg
Ohio Department of Health
Summit County has been at the highest threat level for Coronavirus for the past two weeks.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan says the city’s law limiting private gatherings should be allowed to expire next Wednesday.

The measure was approved just before Thanksgiving, but city officials say no fines were ever issued. And enforcement usually led to homeowners quickly limiting or canceling gatherings.

The mayor's spokeswoman, Ellen Lander-Nischt, says they'll continue looking for the most effective ways to keep the public informed about limiting community spread.

“Is an ordinance the most effective approach? Or is an advisory with a strong message the most impactful thing we can do at this point? Knowing that we’re just one community – we’re just one city – and this is something that regional, statewide, national-level leadership and policy really is the most effective in this kind of a pandemic.”

Lander-Nischt adds that without the ordinance, Summit County’s increasing coronavirus case count could have been even higher.

Horrigan had hoped that nearby cities would issue similar ordinances, but that didn't happen. Lander-Nischt says the mayor was moved to take action by Akron’s hospital systems, which have seen increasing case numbers and more demands on personnel.

“Mayor Horrigan doesn’t regret taking the advice of public health officials and taking this step. Ultimately, though, it’s going to have to be something that individual communities have to make those decisions for themselves.”

The county continues to be at the highest risk level on the state’s coronavirus advisory map.

You can read Mayor Horrigan's full statement below.