Mass Gatherings Restricted to 10 in Oxford, Ohio

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Mass Gathering Ordinance

To prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in Oxford, Ohio, the Oxford City Council passed a mass gathering ordinance on August 18, 2020.  This new law is effective immediately and will be in place while the State of Ohio Executive Order 2020-01D is in effect. 

Details of the Ordinance

Section 1.

All individuals within the City of Oxford are prohibited from hosting, maintaining, or participating in mass gatherings in accordance with the following:

  •  “Mass gatherings” for purposes of this Ordinance, means any social gathering, event or convening that brings together greater than ten (10) non-household persons at the same time, to include both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
  • “Non-household” for purposes of this Ordinance, means any individuals who do not reside within the same housing unit or dwelling.

 Clarification: You may have up to 10 guests to your residence in addition to who lives there. 

For example:

  • A household of 2 may have 10 guests.
  • A household of 15 may have 10 guests. 

Section 2.

The mandatory prohibition on mass gatherings through this Ordinance does not apply in the following situations:


  • Normal operations at bus stops or hubs, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, or other spaces where more than ten (10) persons may be in transit. 
  • Typical office environments. 
  • Schools and University classes or officially sanctioned functions. 
  • Factories, warehouses and distribution centers. 
  • Retail, grocery stores, restaurants and bars where large numbers of people are present, but it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another. 
  • Athletic and sporting events, including recreational and club sports. 
  • Notwithstanding this Ordinance, buildings and venues that traditionally host mass gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors, may continue to be used for sanctioned community events. 
  • This Ordinance does not apply to and/or excludes members of the media. 
  • This Ordinance does not apply to and/or excludes religious gatherings, gatherings for the purpose of the expression of First Amendment protected speech, weddings and funerals.


Section 3.

Regardless of whether an event or gathering falls within the definition of mass gathering, all persons are urged to maintain social distancing (approximately six feet away from other people) whenever possible and to continue to wash hands, utilize hand sanitizer and practice proper respiratory etiquette (coughing into elbow, etc.)


Section 4.

A violation of this Ordinance shall be governed and processed by the provisions set forth in Chapter 507 of the Oxford Code of Codified Ordinances titled: Police Civil Citations. Whoever violates this Ordinance is subject to a civil penalty in the amount of $500.00 for first time violations and $1,000.00 for any subsequent violations thereafter.


Section 5.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble hereof, the Council declares this Ordinance to be an emergency measure which shall take effect at the earliest possible date permitted by law and shall remain in effect during the pendency of State of Ohio Executive Order 2020-01D.