Hillsboro decided on a face mask proclamation

The Hillsboro City Council met on Tuesday, August 4 where they voted on a face mask proclamation.

The proclamation declared that with now more than 4.53 million cases of the illness and more than 153,000 deaths as a result of the illness across the United States, a State of Disaster Emergency proclaimed for the State of Kansas on March 12, 2020 and since the start of the pandemic the State of Kansas has experienced over 27,000 cases of the illness and over 350 deaths as a result of the illness; and in Marion County, there is a recent increase in cases as reported on the Marion County COVID dashboard; and this increased COVID-19 spread is a danger to the health and safety of every person in the City of Hillsboro and presents a threat to reopening and reviving the Marion County economy, the Mayor and City Council of the City of Hillsboro issued the proclamation strongly urging the use of face coverings by residents of, visitors to and businesses within the City of Hillsboro until the end of 2020 or earlier should the Marion County Health Department determine face coverings are longer recommended to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The proclamation went on the state that a protective face covering means a protective mask covering the nose and mouth, including a cloth face coverings or surgical masks or other materials described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or a face shield that covers the front and sides of the face.

It should be worn in buildings open to the public which means any structure used in whole or in part as a place of resort, assemblage, lodging, trade, traffic, occupancy other use by the general public.

The face coverings should also be used outdoors for any person five (5) years old or older should, whenever practical, wear a face-covering whenever the person is in an outdoor public space and cannot maintain six (6) feet of distance from any other person who is not a member of the person’s family or household.

The council did recognize exceptions such as including but not limited to persons who fall into the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention’s guidance for those who should not wear cloth face coverings due to a medical condition, mental health condition or sensory sensitivities, intellectual or developmental disabilities of for whom no other accommodation can be offered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons who have upper-respiratory chronic conditions, silent or invisible disabilities, or are communicating with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and communication cannot be achieved through other means, or persons in settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face-covering when obtaining or rending goods or services to the extent necessary to obtain or render such goods or services including, but not limited to, the receipt of dental services or medical treatments or consuming food or beverages. Also exempt are persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a safety risk to the person related to their work.

For more information about those who are exempt from wearing a mask and other guidelines, please see the city website or the city office for the official proclamation. It will be in effect until Dec 2020 or until the recommendation of the Administrator of the Marion County Health Department is withdrawn, amended, or overruled by subsequent proclamation or ordinance.

Mayor Lou Thurston reminded everyone they needed to do what was best for everyone in light of the pandemic.

“There is no way to make everyone happy or even get everyone on the same page on the mask issue,” said City Administrator Matt Stiles.

The council also moved forward on making sidewalk, marking and signage improvements at D and Ash.

The approximate cost is $10,500 to be done by city crews starting in September.

“Along with the physical improvements, we are doing more bike and pedestrian safety training with the schools, Tabor and the general public.,” said Stiles. “We haven’t ironed out all the details on the safety training, but they will be coming once we have finalized a program plan.”

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