In an 8-7 vote, the Racine Common Council passed a regulation Tuesday that requires individuals in the City of Racine to wear a face-covering when they are out in public.
City authorities want to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Of the 2,690 verified cases of COVID-19 reported on July 20, 1,678 are from the City of Racine.
City of Racine Public Health Department Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox described that Wisconsin reported the highest-daily boost at 1,171 in cases since tracking started 22 weeks earlier. About 22 percent of the 44,135 Wisconsin cases are thought about active. The case rate in the City of Racine stands as the second-highest in the state at 1389.5 per 100,000 in population.
To make her case, Bowersox indicated a story by Politico where Surgeon General Jerome Adams released a plea for individuals to use a face covering and a story by the Mayo Clinic that detailed the benefits of wearing a face mask. “We are restricted in our capability to control neighborhood spread …”
Bowersox stated.” We are out of tools in the tool kit.
The masks are it. “What's in the face-mask ordinance Under the ordinance, the City needs people to use a face-covering over their mouth and nose. It calls for people to use those face coverings in any indoor public space, outside public area and six feet within another person who isn't a member of the person's household or household, or riding on mass transit.
A face covering includes bandannas, medical masks, fabric masks, scarves, and gaiters.
Businesses, organizations, and non-profit entities located within the City would likewise require to require staff members, customers, or visitors to use a face covering.
Several exemptions are in the regulation. They consist of kids 4-years-old and under, people with certain medical conditions, people seated at a restaurant or “other establishment that provides food or drink service where they are consuming or consuming,” or people who would be at danger if they wore a face covering at work.
Services can decline entry or service to people who don't abide by the ordinance.
Companies, organizations, and non-profit organizations can be fined $50 to $500 and could lose their business license for not following the regulation.
Common Council divided on choice
Concerns ensued around how the regulation would be implemented and enforced, exemptions, and how services would be impacted.
The City would job the Racine Police Department with implementing the regulation. However the City of Racine Public Health Department and the Racine Police Department would inform the public prior to composing citations. City staff is also dealing with protecting masks to provide the authorities department and other city departments to hand out to the community.
Alderman Henry Perez asked if somebody had a health problem and didn't use a mask, would the cops have the ability to question that person about what type of an illness they had that avoided them from using one. City Attorney Scott Letteney said the officer would have the ability to ask the individual about that illness because the Health Information Privacy Protection Act (HIPPA) would not apply.
“It would be on that person– as with any ordinance that they are implicated of– to provide a defense that would be thought about among the exceptions,” Letteney said.
Perez likewise questioned Letteney about whether the ordinance would stand up in court if challenged. He stated he patterned the City's regulation after laws in other cities and believed it would stand up in court.
“We've seen that people can choose to sue us, however we have lots of ordinances that manage habits. Which's what this is,” Letteney stated. “I think it's particular in its definitions and prescriptions.”
Alderman John Tate II supported the ordinance, stating that it was a much better alternative than the Safer at Home ordinance, which shut down numerous organisations. However it was overturned by Racine County Circuit Court Judge Jon Frederickson and after that restored by an Appellate Court.
“The finest mitigator we have at this time is masking,” he said. “When individuals discuss responsibility … you know liberty and responsibility work together, right? And to keep that flexibility, we do need to show that responsibility, not just to ourselves but to our fellow male.”
The face-covering ordinance enters into effect at 8 a.m. Monday, July 27.