City of Kent lifts COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, repeals mask mandate


The Kent City council gathered for a virtual meeting Wednesday, June 4, 2021

The Kent City Council repealed two COVID-19 era ordinances in an almost unanimous vote as much of the state dropped their COVID-19 guidelines as well.

The council met Wednesday, June 4 to discuss the repeal of Ordinances 2020-62 and 2020-97, among other topics. 

Ordinance 2020-97 was adopted October 21, 2020 and banned gatherings of more than 10 non-household members in the city. Ordinance 2020-62 was passed July 15 and required people within Kent to wear face coverings in public spaces.

Independent businesses, however, will still be allowed to mandate masks for entry.

“We’re lifting it as a city,” said Law Director Hope Jones in the Wednesday night meeting “But businesses can do as they please.”

The council unanimously voted to repeal the mass gatherings ban, yet a single no vote was heard on the motion to repeal the mask mandate.

Ward 6 Council Member Tracy Wallach voted no on the repeal of the mask mandate. 

She did not respond to a request for comment but said in the meeting that she believes it is too soon.

Other council members, including Jones, believe this is a necessary step in returning to as much of a normal life as possible.

“This would take us back to pre-COVID life,” Jones said.

Mass transportation units such as the PARTA bus system will still have to follow ODOH guidelines for public transit, which will require masks on buses through September.

Rachel Gross is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]