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Mayor And Council Receive Input On Mask Mandate

Mayor and City Council work on mask ordinance KGNCNEWSNOW AlphaMediaAmarillo

Amarillo’s Mayor and City Council met Friday to discuss an ordinance for business owners to enforce masks within their facilities.

The meeting on Ordinanceordinance for business owners to enforce masks lasted over four hours.

A breakdown of the ordnance came from Environmental Health Director, Anthony Spanel.

Stating that it only pertains to the City of Amarillo and it has three main sectors: Applicability, minimum standards, and enforcement and applies to any business with greater than 10 persons present.

There are exemptions which include: Governmental entities, medical facilities, childcare programs, churches, and residential dwellings.

“Second, the minimum standards section is consistent with Executive Orders and Open Texas Guidelines and I want to go over a few of those. For example, summarizing them: wearing of a face covering, frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces, posting of a notice – “Face covering is required” at each entrance,” continued Spanel.

Additional minimum standards are social distancing, pre-shift health screenings for staff, and working with the Health Department on contact tracing.

Mayor Ginger Nelson, said, “I would just plead with every business owner in our city, it’s asking you to consider how you can increase your effort and engage more people too. Even if it’s just a simple ask at the door, ‘would you please wear a mask?’”

Councilmember Place 1 Elaine Hays, said, “I feel that it’s unconstitutional, potentially illegal, and an unfair transfer of burden to our small businesses.”

The motion to amend the ordinance was passed by a vote of four to one.

Mayor Nelson and the Amarillo City Council will meet again to further discuss the ordinance, Monday at 11 a.m.

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