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County delays, Marion acts to require masks

Staff writer

Stepping into the breach after the county failed to act, Marion City Council took matters into their own hands Monday and enacted a rule mandating face masks and providing penalties for not wearing them.

The mandate, effective immediately, requires people in public spaces, indoors or out, to cover their noses and mouths.

Masks must be worn when in line and waiting to enter an indoor public spaces; when getting health care services; waiting for or riding public transportation or ride-sharing vehicles; and when unable to maintain a six-foot distance outdoors.

Businesses, organizations and non-profit associations must require employees, customers, visitors, members, and members of the public to wear masks whenever employees are working in a space visited by members of the public; and wherever food is being prepared.

Masks are required in any enclosed area controlled by such groups when others are present and unable to maintain a six-foot distance.

Homes, private offices, or workspaces not open to public visitors are exempt.

Also exempt are children age 5 and younger, anyone with a condition that prevents wearing a face covering, and people whose hearing is impaired or who are talking to someone with impaired hearing.

Masks may be temporarily removed if necessary to receive a service and athletes in organized sports activities need not wear masks if they maintain a six-foot distance.

Also exempt are people engaging in any activity determined cannot be safely conducted while wearing a mask; and people doing any lawful activity when wearing a mask is prohibited by law.

Marion’s ordinance will be enforced by police, with any person, firm, or corporation getting a $25 fine on the first conviction, a $50 fine on the second conviction, and a $100 fine on the third conviction.

The council was approved 4-0.

Council member Chris Costello said he agreed with the proposed ordinance.

“There’s nothing in the constitution that says you don’t have to do this,” Costello said.

Costello, president of Tampa State Bank, said the bank already asked customers to wear a mask. Only one customer refused and walked out, Costello said.

Mayor David Mayfield noted that while the ordinance requires people to wear masks when going into a business, they can remove it if they can maintain social distance inside.

“I’m not opposed to it,” Mayfield said.

The ordinance remains in effect through Aug. 24.

Last modified July 30, 2020

 

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