mask mandate

Customers at a McAlester grocery store wear protective face coverings Monday after a city ordinance went into effect mandating masks be worn in public. McAlester police said they cited no violations of the ordinance after the first weekend of it being in effect.

The city of McAlester's current ordinance requiring the wearing of protective face coverings in certain settings remains in effect until it expires Nov. 30, unless it is extended by the city council.

1. What does City Ordinance No. 2692 require?

It requires the use of protective face coverings in McAlester at places of public accommodation, public service areas or public settings where social distancing is not being conducted. It includes the possibility of a fine of up to $100 fine to places of public accommodation, educational institutions or indoor public settings that fail to comply with the ordinance, regulatory discipline and/or civil action as the city deems appropriate. Every day a violation is committed or permitted shall constitute a separate offense.

2. How does the city ordinance define a face covering?

"Face covering" means a covering, or mask, that fully covers a person's nose and mouth, including, but not limited to, cloth face masks, towels, scarves and bandannas as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. The face coverings should fit snugly on a person's face but allow the person to breath easily and be worn consistently with the guidance provided by the CDC.

3. What does the ordinance consider a place of public accommodation?

"Place of public accommodation" means all places offering items, goods, or services for purchase or rent, including without limitation retail businesses, personal services and spas, entertainment venues, food service facilities, restaurants,and bars, hotels, motels and travel-related services, professional offices and services, banks and financial services, repair facilities and motor vehicle dealerships.

4. How is a public service area defined in the ordinance?

"Public services area" is a place of public accommodation wherein employees interact with the public in the normal course of business.

5. What does the ordinance define as a place of public setting and how is social distancing defined?

"Public setting" means any public place where persons congregate which is not a place of public accommodation including without limitation offices, workplaces, houses of worship, and ancillary facilities, child care facilities, hospitals and health facilities, gymnasiums and physical fitness facilities, adult and youth sports facilities, places and situations where in-person contact is made at the door or window in residential or commercial settings, communal outdoor spaces such as sidewalks, rails, and parks, food trucks, and other outdoor retail entities. "Social distancing" or "physical distancing" means the maintenance of at least a six-foot minimum social distancing from other individuals outside of your household.

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