Decatur city leaders release draft of mask ordinance and guidelines

After weeks of discussion, Decatur city officials have a proposed mask ordinance, that will be up for a vote during council's session.

Decatur city leaders release draft of mask ordinance and guidelines
Face mask (Source: Anonymous)

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - The Decatur City Council has been discussing the implementation of a mask ordinance inside city limits for several weeks.

The council is expected to discuss and potentially vote on an ordinance on Wednesday, July 8.

This comes after Morgan County has seen a skyrocket of positive COVID-19 cases since the beginning of June.

Last week, council members began looking at other Alabama cities’ ordinances to get an idea of what Decatur’s could look like.

Now, after two weeks of discussion, they finally have a written, proposed document.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Section two of the ordinance requires face coverings in all public places within city limits.

This includes the following:

  1. Indoor spaces of businesses or venues open to the general public, including but not limited to stores, bars and restaurants (see exception 3b), entertainment venues, public meeting spaces, city government buildings, civic centers, etc.
  2. Transportation services available to the general public, including mass transit, paratransit, taxi, or ride-sharing services.
  3. Outdoor areas open to the general public where ten or more persons are gathered and unable to maintain a distance of six (6) or more feet between persons not from the same household.

Section three covers a list of exceptions, meaning, a mask is not required.

This includes the following:

  1. Children under the age of 2, exempt from wearing a mask.
  2. While eating and/or drinking.
  3. During medical examinations or procedures.
  4. Hair care services.
  5. Personal safety: exemptions include mental and physical health conditions that would prevent a person from wearing a mask.
  6. Places of worship can use their own discretion on requiring masks and facial coverings.
  7. Effective communication: when talking to a hearing-impaired individual or a large group of socially-distanced people, a mask is not required in order to have proper communication.
  8. Indoor athletic facilities: should refer to CDC and Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines. Masks are not required in the facility.
  9. Private clubs and gatherings do not require face masks or coverings.
  10. Voting centers do not require face masks or coverings.

This is just a small piece of the ordinance. For the full proposed ordinance from Decatur’s City Council, click here.

Council members are meeting Wednesday at 4 p.m. to discuss the ordinance and potentially vote.

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