mayor steve benjamin mask

Mayor Benjamin holds up a mask at a chamber breakfast. Karamie Hallman photo.

Mayor Steve Benjamin and Columbia City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance Tuesday that amends the emergency ordinance extending mask face coverings.

This emergency ordinance extends the temporary suspension of the normal operating procedures of City Council, City Boards and Commissions meetings.

Amendments to the ordinance include fines for not wearing masks on a busy sidewalk/waiting area, or popular outdoor area where it is impractical or impossible to maintain six feet of distance at all times.

Face coverings are not required in the following circumstances:

  • In personal vehicles
  • When a person is alone in enclosed spaces; during outdoor physical activity, provided the active person maintains a minimum of six-feet from other people at all times
  • When a person is alone or only with other household members
  • While drinking, eating or smoking
  • When wearing a face covering causes or aggravates a health condition
  • When wearing a face covering would prevent the receipt of personal services
  • When a person is 10 years of age or younger

The previous ordinance would have expired on January 5, 2021. The extension approved by City Council today extends the ordinance to expire on the 61st day after enactment of this ordinance.

Extending the temporary suspension of meetings allows the mayor, council members, board members and commission members to remotely participate in voting and operational procedures by telephone or through video calling and extends the requirement that face coverings or masks be work in public in the City of Columbia.

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