After discussing the issue for nearly two hours, City of Hinesville Mayor and Council passed an Executive Order requiring face coverings or masks be worn in public, within the City of Hinesville, effective at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Special Called Meeting was held July 9 at 10 a.m.
According to the order, “A person who fails to comply with any mandatory provision of this Order shall be deemed guilty of a civil infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000.”
The order states that all persons entering any building, restaurant, retail establishment of any kind, salons, grocery stores and pharmacies within the city limits must wear a mask or face covering while inside the building or while in any area where the general public is allowed. Employees of businesses within the city must also wear face coverings, per the order.
The order does include some exemptions due to age, underlying health issues or any person who is unable to wear one safely. A definition that many of the Council members felt was too broad.
Face coverings are not required when driving in your personal vehicle, when a person is alone in an enclosed space such as their home, during physical activity provided they maintain the standard six-foot distance from others, while eating, drinking or smoking, children under 10 years of age, during certain personal services and if it aggravates a current health condition.
Rather than citations and fines, the goal is education and voluntary compliance, with some exceptions to wearing masks in place City PR Manager Whitney Morris-Reed said. These exceptions are laid out in paragraphs 4 and 5 on page two.
More on this story to come.
The Order can be download below.