EDWARDSVILLE - The City of Edwardsville enacted an ordinance with a unanimous 7-0 vote, amending Chapter 75 Article IV regarding Mandatory Face Coverings, Gatherings, And Sanitation To Preserve And Protect Residents at the Tuesday City Council meeting. Police will be able to issue citations after warnings when needed with the new ordinance.
The ordinance says the City of Edwardsville has determined that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a highly contagious disease, jeopardizes the public health and safety of the residents of the city.
The ordinance will be effective until repealed by the City Council.
“The whole point of the ordinance was to protect the public and ourselves and the idea was police needed an enforcement mechanism,” Edwardsville City Administrator Kevin Head said. “This is not about revenue for us, this is out of respect for fellow citizens to get through the pandemic. Our police will cite individuals if they are belligerent or they disregard the rule after told and warned of the law.
“When people are outside walking or running and maintain distance, masks aren’t required, but indoors we are asking people to wear them. Business owners are expected to set up cleaning stations and keep a 25 percent occupancy rate. The exception is grocery stores, which can have 50 percent occupancy.”
Alderman S.J. Morrison said it was a unanimous city council vote about the mask ordinance in Edwardsville on Tuesday night.
“I believe that what was decided at the city council meeting are common-sense measures and they only really amount to an inconvenience at worst,” he added. “If people can’t stay six feet apart from one another or in a business, they need to wear or mask or face covering that protects themselves, their family, and neighbors. These are extraordinary times and it is important that we do our best to keep our residents safe and healthy.”
The requirement with the new ordinance is as follows: All persons within the municipal boundary of the City of Edwardsville engaging in any activity outside of their residence, while other persons are present, shall wear protective face coverings, that shall completely cover their mouth and nose, and be reasonably designed to inhibit, filter or restrict the passing of a person’s breath, sneeze, cough or another exhaling from one’s nose and mouth when they must leave their home or report to work including but not limited to:
- Shopping or working at retail businesses.
- Picking up food from a drive-through restaurant or food establishment or curbside pick up from a restaurant or food establishment.
- Visiting a health care provider.
- Traveling on public transportation, taxis, or rideshares.
- Interacting with customers, clients, patients, coworkers, or any other person at a place of business or worship that is open to the general public.
- Performing services for state and local government agencies, where close interactions with other people are unavoidable.
- When feeling sick, coughing, or sneezing, or otherwise ill.
The exceptions for protective face coverings shall not be required are as follows:
- For children under two years of age.
- When engaged in physical activity such as walking or running while maintaining social distancing from others of not less than six feet.
- When alone or with members of the same household.
- When eating or drinking, whether in public or private.
- For people who are hearing impaired, or communicating with someone hearing impaired where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
Hand sanitizing stations are required at every entry point into a business and are mandated to be used by all staff and patrons entering the business.
In regard to occupancy restrictions, they are per current and applicable Illinois Department of Public Health requirements according to tiered resurgence mitigation.
City Administrator Head said initially individuals will receive a warning of a mask offense and not be fined.
However, upon second warning, an individual may face the following fines:
- First offense - $25
- Second Offense - $50
- Third Offense - $100
- Fourth and each subsequent offense: $200
(Each day the violation occurs or continues shall be considered a separate offense.)
For a business, store, office, venue, property owner, or manager or operator who shall violate any of the provisions, upon finding of liability the fine will be as follows:
- First offense - $50
- Second offense - $100
- Third offense - $200
- Fourth and subsequent offense: $500
Where do you stand on the matter of mandatory face coverings?
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