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Akron Mayor Will Let Limit On Private Gatherings Expire Dec. 16

The City of Akron and Mayor Dan Horrigan will not pursue an extension on the current limits for private gatherings, Horrigan announced Thursday, due in large part to the lack of cooperation and coordination from surrounding cities.

The private gathering ordinance passed Nov. 17, which prohibits residents from having more than six people from outside their own household in their home at any time, will expire Dec. 16.

The city and Summit County hospital systems failed to convince other municipalities to enact similar measures to protect the region, Horrigan said in a press release.

“Akron is the center of hospital and medical care for the entire County of Summit, and surrounding counties as well,” Horrigan said. “The City and hospital systems unsuccessfully urged other cities and authorities to assist in scaling up these important restrictions. In consultation with our public health officials, it is clear that this impeded effectiveness, as Akron daily welcomes workers, patients, and visitors from across the region. Without appropriate scale, public health measures such as ours will not be effective in slowing community spread.”

Conversations with hospitals about possibly having to ration care prompted Horrigan to introduce the six-guest limit, he said at the time. Despite the decision to not pursue an extension, Horrigan said Thursday that Northeast Ohio remains in the “darkest days” of the pandemic and emergency plans remain in effect.

“The local conditions have only worsened since early November, when Akron's three hospital systems came together to ask us to take this action to help them save lives,” Horrigan said. “Summit County has since turned ‘purple’ and many medical providers are facing even more urgent staffing crises, and have begun to cancel elective procedures. We are currently reactivating regional plans regarding mass casualty protocols, including the use of mobile morgues and auxiliary hospital facilities."

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