During Monday night's City Council meeting statements about the importance of wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 reverberated among City Leaders. Council President Chris Hoy started the meeting by sharing his personal connection to the virus, saying he had close relatives and friends who had contracted COVID- 19 but recovered.
"We need to wear our masks and do our part," Hoy said. "The Governor has indicated, if we don't lower our numbers, businesses will close, and we can't let that happen."
City Councilor Jackie Leung shared her personal account with COVID-19, stating that the virus took the life of her elderly Uncle, who Leung shared was healthy before getting the virus.
Both accounts triggered nods of recognition and empathy from staff, council, and public participants of the virtual Zoom broadcast.
"The City will be increasing our public messaging regarding the importance of wearing masks," said City Manager Steve Powers as he addressed the Council and the public at large.
"I've asked our police, parks, and code enforcement, to provide reminders and masks to the public with whom they interact. And we need to set an example by wearing masks. We care about our health, the health of our families, and the health of our community."
Where the refusal to wear a mask or maintain social distancing is egregious or where non-compliance includes other law violations, police officers retain discretion to determine whether issuance of a citation is appropriate. Chronic violations and significant incidents will be handled case by case.
The City has many individually wrapped masks. City employees will have masks available for those without masks.
As the City continues to manage the COVID- 19 pandemic, residents can visit the City's public website for regional guidance, the status of State orders, and resources to keep the City healthy and connected.