SANGER, Calif. (KSEE) — The city of Sanger announced an emergency order set to go in effect Wednesday evening that requires residents to wear face masks in numerous situations in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The order, which will last until further notice, says “residents shall use a cloth face mask or equivalent face covering while indoors at work, while visiting a business, or while coming in close contact with someone who is not a family member, in accordance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets when physical distancing cannot be maintained.”
The requirement was enacted by the city’s Director of Emergency Services to “facilitate safe business reopening” in phase two of the state’s reopening roadmap.
“What we wanted to make sure is that business owners had something to lean on and say, ‘Look, the city is telling you it is required’,” said Sanger City Manager Tim Chapa.
For businesses that don’t comply, there may be consequences, although Chapa says that’s not likely.
“The ordinance does give the city, does give me the authority to issue citations, fines up to $1,000, allow the police to issue a misdemeanor,” said Chapa, “but that’s not our intention at all.”
Both the police department and city manager said they won’t be making any arrests, but rather educating people about the importance of wearing masks.
“Distancing, wearing a mask all are reasonable requests, and they really should be obeyed, and that’s for the protection of all of us,” said Interim Sanger Police Chief Jerry Galvin.
Adults with respiratory illnesses, certain medical conditions, and children under 12 are excused from using face masks because of suffocation risk. But they should still comply with social distancing requirements of at least six feet from others outside of the household.
Face masks won’t have to be worn at a restaurant while dining, but they must be worn while waiting to be seated and while away from the dining table.
The city requests compliance from all residents and visitors to Sanger and businesses are required to inform employees and post signage about their specific mask policies.