Open Letter Regarding Masks in Bowling Green
On July 20, Bowling Green’s City Council will decide if residents will be required to wear masks in public. We are here to say that a mask ordinance is necessary to protect Bowling Green’s businesses, students, and families.
COVID-19 is on rise nationwide, and here in Wood County we have 428 confirmed cases. As of now, Bowling Green State University will host in person classes in August, bringing another 19,000+ people from all over the country into the area.
BGSU’s COVID-19 plan includes mandatory masks for students on campus in indoor public spaces or outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible. However, students are an integral part of our community and economy. They will not only be on campus; they will be in our businesses.
If there are a rise in cases, we will have to shut down again, and the small businesses here in Bowling Green will not survive another shut down. Many of us took a devastating hit from months of closure, to start the quarantine process anew would mean more than another 4 months of losses.
Not only will Main Street be reshaped by another shut down, but BGSU will face major changes if Wood County has a severe outbreak. Bowling Green State University faced a $29 Million budget shortfall in the spring that resulted in faculty layoffs, budget restrictions, furloughs, and contract non-renewals. If Bowling Green shuts down again, our University will face additional financial hardship that will affect the quality of its teaching, long-term viability, and the livelihood of our residents.
We believe a mask ordinance is the only way to protect the Bowling Green economy, our local businesses, and the students in our community. We need clear, comprehensive preventative measures now to prevent further losses in Bowling Green.
Nick Rubando for Congress