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Posted on: July 30, 2021

Joines Orders Masks to be Worn in All City Buildings

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Mayor Allen Joines today ordered that masks, shields or other face coverings again be worn by anyone inside city government buildings, regardless of vaccination status, in keeping with the latest CDC guidance.

The order applies to City Hall, the Stuart Municipal Building, other enclosed city facilities and facilities that the city leases due to the spread. 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 seventh amendment to the State of Emergency declaration he signed March 13, 2020. It will take effect at 5:30 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.” 

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 had lifted the mask requirement on May 21 as the number of COVID-19 cases dropped with the rollout of the vaccines. The spread of the more-contagious Delta variant has reversed this decline, leading the CDC to reinstate its mask guidance.

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