What lifting COVID-19 health orders means for Cuyahoga Falls, Silver Lake

Events resuming, government meetings will happen in-person again starting June 2

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
Cuyahoga Falls City Hall will fully reopen to the public on June 2.

CUYAHOGA FALLS, SILVER LAKE — With Gov. Mike DeWine's announcement that the state mask mandate and all remaining coronavirus health orders will be lifted June 2, both the city and the village have announced changes for buildings, events and meetings.

Here is a look at how the lifting of health orders will affect buildings, events and meetings in both Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake.

Cuyahoga Falls City Hall reopening

Cuyahoga Falls City Hall, 2310 Second St., will completely reopen to the public on June 2. The building will once again be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. During the pandemic, the building was only open to the public via appointment. While masks will no longer be mandated through health orders, people who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to wear masks while they are inside city hall, according to a city news release.

"City Hall visitors will be asked to follow any current health orders that are in place at the time of their visit to City Hall," said city spokesperson Kelli Crawford-Smith.

She added that city hall employees have already been working in-person, five days a week since May 3.

Silver Lake Village Hall has been open to the public since late December. Village Council is planning to resume in-person meetings inside Village Hall on June 7.

Silver Lake Village Hall, 2961 Kent Road, has been open to the public since Dec. 21. It was closed in December for two weeks due to Summit County's placement in the Level 4 category (purple) on the state's coronavirus advisory map.

Mayor Bernie Hovey said he intends to continue asking people to wear masks when they visit Village Hall, but noted the mask requirement will be waived if visitors show proof of being vaccinated.

"No one will be required to show proof unless they wish not to wear a mask," Hovey said.

Hovey also emphasized that the mask rule and other COVID-19 guidelines may change once he's received guidance from Summit County Public Health.

Government meetings will resume in-person

Cuyahoga Falls City Council will resume in-person meetings in the Natatorium on June 7. All city boards and commissions will return to in-person sessions in June. All of those groups have hosted meetings on virtual platforms.

"People will be asked to follow any current health orders that are in place during their appearance at the public meetings," Crawford-Smith said.

No decision has been made on whether these meetings will continue to be livestreamed, according to Crawford-Smith. As has been done before, audio recordings of the meetings will be made and placed on the city's website.

Silver Lake Village Council decided on May 17 that it will start hosting in-person meetings on June 7. The planning commission, park board and board of zoning appeals have already been hosting in-person meetings, although applicants have the option to participate through Zoom, Hovey said.

The mayor added council indicated it will continue, "at least for a time," to also have meetings on Zoom or teleconference when meetings resume in-person.

He added the other boards have not made a decision about whether the meetings will be carried live.

"Depending on the guidelines that will be coming from [Summit County Public Health], my intent at this time is to require masks at public meetings," Hovey said. "We will always follow [Summit County Public Health] protocol."

The Riverfront Irish Festival will take place June 11 through 13. This photo was taken at the most recent festival, which happened in 2018.

Upcoming events

In Cuyahoga Falls, while the Memorial Day parade has been canceled, the ceremony in Oakwood Cemetery will take place on May 31 at 11 a.m.

The Riverfront Cruise-In, a weekly classic car show presented b, is scheduled to start its programs along Second Street next to city hall on June 7 from 4-8 p.m., according to the event website. 

Starting June 7, the car show will happen every Monday night — weather permitting — through Sept. 27.

The Riverfront Irish Festival is set to return to downtown Cuyahoga Falls June 11 through 13, according to the event's Facebook page. It will be the first time the event has happened in three years. In addition to being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the 2019 version was canceled due to low revenue and a low level of commitment from vendors.

The organizers of Festa Italiana have decided to cancel the annual event celebrating Italian heritage that typically happens in mid July.

"While it was our hope to be able to continue the tradition of hosting the best Italian Festival, it was determined our present reality, at this time, would not allow for us to ensure the health and safety of our guests, vendors, and volunteers, which is our primary priority," stated a post on the event's Facebook page. "We hope to see everyone in 2022."

The city has announced the return of the Falls Downtown Fridays Summer Entertainment Series to downtown running Fridays from Aug. 6 through Sept. 3.

Vaccinated guests can enter city buildings without masks

Water Works Park, Brookledge Golf Club, Downview Sports Center, Quirk Cultural Center, and the Natatorium are continuing to follow the state's guidelines on masks and other public health restrictions.

"Vaccinated guests may currently enter [these facilities] without masks and starting on June 2 all guests are able to enter the facilities without a mask," Crawford-Smith said. "Anyone voluntarily wishing to wear a mask for personal protection is welcome to do so."

Schools

The last day of school for Woodridge Local School District students in K-11 is May 27. Superintendent Walter Davis said the district will continue operating with the same masking and distancing guidelines.

The last day of classes for Cuyahoga Falls City School District students in K-11 is also May 27. Like Woodridge, the Falls district will also finish the year with the same masking and distancing guidelines, according to district spokesperson John Wasylko.

Both Cuyahoga Falls and Woodridge school boards are planning to continue to livestreaming meetings even after all COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Library will expand hours

Cuyahoga Falls Library Director Valerie Kocin said the library will continue to follow the governor's health orders.

"Masks are highly recommended for customers and required [for] staff," Kocin said. "Safety precautions including sanitization of high touch surfaces, social distancing, and acrylic sneeze guards will all remain in place."

The library will have expanded hours starting Monday, May 24. The hours will be: Monday, 1 to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday 1 to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 1 to 5 p.m.; and  Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.