Sabrena Combs

Sabrena Combs

PALMER — The Palmer City Council will hold the first public hearing for Ordinance 20-016 which would enact an emergency mask or face covering mandate on Wednesday at a special meeting at Palmer City Council at 6 p.m.

Sponsored by Deputy Mayor Sabrena Combs and Councilwoman Dr. Jill Valerius, the emergency order would last for no longer than 60 days, and provides exceptions and definitions. The Palmer council meeting on Wednesday is for the measure to be presented to the council and persons who wish to provide public testimony may contact Palmer Clerk Norma Alley up until 5 p.m., on Wednesday.

“Business and building owners shall deny admittance to any individual who fails to comply with this order and shall require or compel removal of such individuals from the premises,” reads section 2, subsection 5 of Ordinance 20-016.

The ordinance states that individuals must wear masks or face coverings if they are indoors in public communal settings or in such spaces outside the home or at outdoor gatherings where six feet of distance cannot be maintained. Face shields may be permitted for those who cannot tolerate a mask due to physical or mental disability, when communicating with someone who has impaired hearing or performing an activity such as dental work that cannot be safely conducted. The mask mandate would not apply to children under two years of age, but children between two and five are recommended to wear a mask. Exceptions are also provided for eating and drinking, presenting at a distance of 25 feet, when in an enclosed workspace or working alone, doing high intensity exercise or to “briefly scratch an itch.”

The ordinance provides that the regulation shall be consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The city reserves the right to use all available enforcement options to ensure compliance with this ordinance. Violation of this ordinance does not create grounds for residents to harass individuals who do not comply with it,” reads section 2, subsection 5 of Ordinance 20-016.

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