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The original item was published from 8/17/2021 1:34:57 PM to 8/17/2021 1:37:23 PM.

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Marketing & Communications

Posted on: August 17, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Joines Citywide Mask Order Posted Online

COVID-19 Update graphic with coronavirus sketch and Winston-Salem logo

The city has posted online the full text of Mayor Allen Joines’ order that masks, shields or other face coverings be worn inside all buildings within the city limits, other than an individual’s home, as of 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20. The order is posted at CityofWS.org/COVID19.

The order spells out in detail when and where masks must be worn within the city limits, and the instances when masks do not have to be worn. Joines signed the order Aug. 16 as the eighth amendment to the State of Emergency declaration he initially issued March 13, 2020. 

Joines issued the order out of concern that surge in COVD-19 cases caused by the Delta variant could overwhelm the city’s hospitals if nothing is done. “I have been asked to take this step by the Forsyth County Health Director and other medical experts,” Joines said, “and I believe this step is warranted by the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases.”

Joines added that he hopes to remove the mask mandate as soon as possible if case numbers fall and an increase in the number of vaccinated residents lessens the chance for another surge.

Under Joines’ order, individuals must wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth any time they are in contact with other people who are not household members, either in public or private indoor spaces. 

This includes grocery stores, pharmacies, businesses, restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centers. The order strongly encourages residents to wear face masks outdoors when social distancing is not possible. 

The order exempts children under 2 years of age and lists 14 situations that exempt citizens from wearing a mask, including religious beliefs, medical or behavioral conditions or disabilities, and eating, drinking or exercising strenuously.

Individuals who claim an exemption from the face mask requirement are not required under Joines’ order to provide proof of their status. However, the order gives businesses or other third parties the freedom to require such proof.

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