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Posted on: October 9, 2020

GUIDELINES FOR HALLOWEEN IN THE CITY OF ATHENS OHIO


GUIDELINES FOR HALLOWEEN IN THE CITY OF ATHENS OHIO 

1. LEARN ABOUT ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND ATHENS 

http://athensohio.com/ 

https://ohio.org/wps/portal/gov/tourism/things-to-do 

Honey for the Heart Halloween Drive-By Parade will be at the City’s West State Street Park, October 31st, 1-3 p.m. 

2. MAXIMUM GATHERINGS 


What is the maximum number of people who can gather in a private residence? 

The maximum number is 10, unless exempted by the Governor’s State Order, e.g., members of a household, family or residence. 

Source: Director’s Stay safe Ohio Order [DSSOO] 

What is the maximum number of people who can gather in a business, e.g., a bar or restaurant? 

The capacity of each business is prominently posted at the business; social distancing rules apply. 

What is the maximum number of people who can gather in an outdoor venue? 

The maximum number is 10, unless exempted by the Governor’s State Order, e.g., members of a household, family or residence. 

Source: Director’s Stay safe Ohio Order [DSSOO] 

3. COVID SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

What are social distancing requirements? 

People must maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet, with the exception of family or household members. 

Source: Director’s Stay safe Ohio Order [DSSOO] 

What are facial covering requirements while waiting in line outside a business, e.g., a restaurant or bar? 

People must wear a face covering when entering, exiting or waiting in line outside a business. 

Source: Athens City Council Adopted Face Covering Ordinance [ACCAFCO] 

What are facial covering requirements while inside a business, e.g., restaurant or bar? 

People must wear a face covering except: 

People can remove their facial covering in a bar or restaurant while eating or drinking. 

However, people must wear a face covering if they are not seated at their table or at the bar. 

Source: Athens City Council Adopted Face Covering Ordinance [ACCAFCO] 

What are facial covering requirements for outdoor public spaces? 

People must wear a face covering –covering the nose, mouth and chin–when a person is unable/does not maintain social distancing from people who are not members of their household. 

Source: Athens City Council Adopted Face Covering Ordinance [ACCAFCO] 

What are facial covering requirements for city transportation? 

People riding on public transportation must (1) maintain social distancing to the greatest extent possible and (2) wear a facial covering. 

Source: Athens City Council Adopted Face Covering Ordinance [ACCAFCO]; Director’s Stay safe Ohio Order [DSSOO] 

What are the safety requirements for people who gather in a business, e.g., a bar or restaurant? 

People must maintain a combination of social distancing and/or wear a facial covering, as detailed above. 

What are the safety requirements for people who gather in an outdoor public space? 

People must maintain a combination of social distancing and/or wear a facial covering, as detailed above. 


4. NEIGHBORHOOD TRICK OR TREAT COVID SAFETY REQUIREMENTS 

What are facial covering requirements for trick-or-treating or passing out treats? 

People who are trick-or-treating and passing out treats must wear a face covering and observe social distancing from people not from your household, except: 

The City Ordinance and the Governor’s order do not require children younger than 10 to wear a mask, and the State order further says face masks should never be placed on children younger than 2 or anyone who cannot readily remove them. 

Source: Responsible RestartOhio [RRO] Athens City Council Adopted Face Covering Ordinance [ACCAFCO] 

What is the date and time for trick-or-treating in Athens? 

Trick-or-Treating is only allowed Oct. 31, 5:30-6:30 pm only in residential areas. There will be no trick-or-treating in the uptown business area. 

5. OTHER NON-COVID SPECIFIC ORDINANCES 

Nuisance party: 

The city can shut down a nuisance party conducted within the city on private or public property. Once ordered, the party must stop immediately and all people not residing at the premises must leave immediately. 

Source: City Code OF Ordinances 9.14 

What are the criteria for a nuisance party? 

Criteria include: disorderly conduct; illegal open container; outdoor urination or defecation in a public place or on the property of another; unlawful sale, furnishing, dispensing or consumption of beer or intoxicating liquor; sale or furnishing of beer or intoxicating liquor to an underage person; possession or consumption of beer or intoxicating liquor by an underage person; illegal use of a controlled substance; public indecency; unlawful deposit of litter or refuse; the damage or destruction of property without the consent of the property owner; unlawful pedestrian or vehicular traffic; standing or parking of vehicles that obstructs the free flow of traffic on the public streets and sidewalks or that impedes the ability to render emergency services; unlawfully loud noise; or any other conduct or condition that threatens injury, inconvenience, or alarm to persons or damage to property which is hereby declared to be an unlawful public nuisance. 

Source: City Code Of Ordinances 9.14 

Obstructing a Sidewalk: 

People cannot obstruct pedestrian travel on a sidewalk. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances 13.04.07 

Noise ordinance: 

Two main issues apply to Halloween regarding noise: (1) radio and other sound devices and (2) voice noise; these apply to individuals, businesses and organizations. 

Sound must be plainly audible at 50 ft from the building, structure or vehicle or >85 dB during the hours between (a) 10:00 pm-7:00 am, Sunday evening through Friday morning or (b) 12:00 am-7:00 am Saturday and Sunday morning; OR 

Sound must be >85 dB inside another dwelling unit, when windows and doors are closed between the hours of 8:00 am-8:00 pm. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances 13.04.10 

Public indecency: 

People cannot expose their private parts or engage in masturbation or sexual conduct that is likely to be viewed by and affront others. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances 13.05.05 

Under-age Drinking 

People shall not sell or give beer or an intoxicating liquor to a person who is less than 21 years old unless they are a parent or legal guardian and the drink is consumed on their premises. 

No person who is less than 21 years old shall possess or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor unless give to them by a parent or legal guardian and the drink is consumed on their premises. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances 9.06.08 

Possession of opened bottle or container of beer or liquor: 

People must not have an opened bottle, flask or container of beer or intoxicating liquor in a motor vehicle or public place. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances 9.06.04 

6. FINES: 

What is the fine for not wearing a facial covering or social distancing as prescribed by the Athens City Ordinance? 

The fine is $100 and is considered an administrative offense. 

Source: Athens City Council Adopted Face Covering Ordinance [ACCAFCO]; 

What happens if I attend or invite people who I know are COVID-positive to a social gathering? 

The person attending may be charged with spreading contagion in violation of Ohio Revised Code Section3701.81, a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree, punishable by up to a $750 fine and 120 days in jail. The person hosting, who knows a COVID-positive person is attending, could be charged with complicity to spreading contagion, which is also a 2nd degree misdemeanor. 

Source: Ohio Revised Code 3701.81 

What is the fine for hosting a nuisance party? 

The first offense carries a fine of $150 and is considered an administrative offense. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 9 

What is the fine for a City noise violation? 

A 1st violation is $100 and is an administrative offense. A 2nd violation within 30 days is a minor misdemeanor. Any subsequent offence within 6 months of the 2nd violation is a misdemeanor of the 4th degree. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances 13.04.10 

What is the fine for public indecency? 

It is a misdemeanor of the 4th degree, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances 13.05.05 

What is the fine for under-age drinking or serving an underage person? 

It is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances 9.06.08 

What is the fine for possession of opened bottle or container of beer or intoxicating liquor? 

It is a minor misdemeanor and the fine is up to $150. 

Source: City Code of Ordinances 9.06.04 

If I am a student and I am cited for a City ordinance violation, will this be reported to the university? 

Yes – Ohio University has a standing Public Records Request. Athens Police and the Ohio University Police Department citations are reported to the OHIO Community Standards Office each Monday. Also reported to the Community Standards Office are any campus violations, whether in the residence halls, in other campus buildings, or within classes. 

If I am a student and I am cited for a State ordinance violation, will this be reported to the university? 

Yes – Ohio University has a standing Public Records Request. Athens Police and the Ohio University Police Department citations are reported to the OHIO Community Standards Office each Monday. Also reported to the Community Standards Office are any campus violations, whether in the residence halls, in other campus buildings, or within classes. 

7. OTHER: 

What time will bars close? 

Last drinks will be served at 10:00 pm; bars must be empty by 11:00 pm. 

Source: Emergency Rule OAC 

Will the City allow parking during Halloween? 

Parking meters are enforced Mon-Sat. 8 am – 8 pm; check meters for time limits, e.g., 10 min, 30 min, 2 hr, etc. Cars parked in non-metered spaces must be moved every 24 hours. 

The Parking Garage at 15 E. Washington St will be open. 

Will public be able to use business bathrooms? 

Individual businesses can determine if and how they allow access to their bathrooms. 

Note: There are public restrooms on the ground floor of the Parking Garage at 15 E. Washington St. 

What is the estimated capacity of bars? 

The capacity of bars and restaurants are reduced due to the need to socially distance. Bars and restaurants are required to post their adjusted capacity based on the number of seats available while maintaining the required 6-foot social distancing. 

What number do I call if I need to report a health emergency? 

Call 911. 

8. REPORTING A VIOLATION: 

If I see a gathering that is non-compliant with COVID safety measures, how I do I report it? 

You can file a report with the Athens City-County Health Department: https://www.athenspublichealth.org/get_more_help/complaint_form.php 

You can file a report with the university: https://bit.ly/36q46eB 

You can call the City of Athens Police Department: 740-592-3313 

You can call the Ohio University Police Department: 740-593-1911 

Additional questions about Halloween regulations in Athens can be sent by email to: cityadmin@ci.athens.oh.us Please include the words "Halloween Question" in the subject line. 

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