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July 16, 2020 2:36 PM

Masks Required in City-Owned Buildings

Mayor Allen Joines today ordered that masks, shields or other face coverings be worn by anyone inside city government buildings, including City Hall, the Stuart Municipal Building, other enclosed city facilities and facilities that the city leases. The order also applies to city-owned parking decks, the Clark Campbell Transportation Center and buses and other vehicles operated by the Winston-Salem Transit Authority.

Joines’ order was issued as a fourth amendment to the State of Emergency declaration he signed March 13. It will take effect at 5 p.m. today.

The mandate does not apply to open-air facilities owned by the city, including basketball and tennis courts, golf courses or picnic shelters. Masks are not required for pools and pool decks, but they are required in pool bathhouses. “While a face covering will not be required for such open-air facilities,” the order states, “individuals are strongly encouraged to adhere to CDC’s six-foot social distancing recommendation.”

Joines’ order and a complete list of city facilities covered by the order are posted online at CityofWS.org/Covid19.

The order lists eight situations that exempt citizens from wearing a mask, including religious beliefs and medical or behavioral conditions or disabilities. “Anyone who declines to wear a face covering… should not be required to produce documentation or other proof of a condition. However, the city may elect to provide access or service to said person through alternative means such as the telephone, email or other electronic means rather than in-person.”

Joines’ order does not apply to buildings not owned or leased by the city, including retail businesses, restaurants and other facilities used by the public, which are covered under the mask order that Gov. Roy Cooper issued June 24. The order also does not apply to city employees who fall under the city personnel policy requiring masks inside city facilities and when riding together in city vehicles.

“This Fourth Amended Declaration does not supplant or override any of the governor’s executive orders,” the order states. “The intent is to address city buildings and amenities that are not covered by such orders. To the extent there is a conflict between this Fourth Amended Declaration and any of the governor’s executive orders, the governor’s executive orders shall prevail.”

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