The ordinance is in now in effect.
NOTES TO THIS UPDATE:
(1) August 27, 2020 - The Provo City Council voted 6-1 to override the Mayor's veto of the ordinance. It contains a sunset provision of November 15, 2020.
(2) August 31, 2020 - Pursuant to Utah Code 20A-7-6, a petition to gather signatures to put the ordinance to referendum has been filed. The state code provides time limits for all steps in the process, including signature gathering, verification of signatures, and determination whether sufficient signatures were obtained. Depending on when signature gathering commences, how much time is required to gather signatures and for the County to verify signatures, the estimated latest date that determination could be made is December 11, 2020. If effort is successful, the ordinance would be suspended pending a referendum to be held next year (2021).
(3) September 15, 2020 - The Provo City Council unanimously approved some amendments to the ordinance to clarify some things.
On August 25, 2020, the Provo City Council unanimously approved an ordinance regarding the use of masks in Provo in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 by requiring all individuals within Provo, Utah, to wear face coverings while (1) in indoor public spaces* and when not maintaining a social distance of at least six feet from individuals not residing in the same household, (2) in attendance at large outdoor gatherings where social distancing is not possible, reasonable, or prudent, and (3) in attendance at large indoor gatherings.
* "Indoor public spaces" means any building or indoor area, including businesses and government buildings, that authorizes, permits, or invites anyone who is not an employee, resident, or owner of the building or indoor area, to enter in order to conduct business, recreate, or otherwise use the facilities provided therein. This does not include the interior of any private dwelling (i.e., your home).
The full text of the updated ordinance itself can be found online.
What the ordinance does and does not do?
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this ordinance:
- The ordinance requires individuals to wear face coverings and/or practice social distancing in publicly accessible spaces with specific requirements that vary depending on:
- whether an individual is indoors or outdoors
- the size of gatherings
- The ordinance requires businesses to post signage of the face covering and social distancing requirements.
- The ordinance requires organizers of public gatherings to require attendees to wear face coverings and to provide clear signage of the face covering and social distancing requirements.
- The ordinance DOES NOT BAN activities or public gatherings.
- The ordinance DOES NOT require masks at home or in your yard, on public streets, sidewalks, or parking lots (unless the size of gatherings clause necessitates).
- The ordinance provides numerous exemptions for individuals (see Who is Exempt? below)
- To protect lives and livelihoods. Many studies have shown that the higher the percentage of people who wear face coverings and practice social distancing, the lower the incidence of COVID-19 transmission in the community. Debunking common mask myths.
- Recent projections by BYU researchers indicated that without high levels of compliance with standards for wearing masks and socially distancing, the return of some 70,000 university students to Provo and Orem will result in significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases in these communities. While there are mask requirements on campuses, until now there have been no community-wide restrictions off campus. The interactions and interconnectedness between students, businesses, and year-round residents will increase dramatically now that our students have returned.
Where are face coverings required?
- In indoor public spaces when not maintaining a social distanceof at least 6 feet from people you don’t live with
- At gatherings of certain sizes ("Gatherings" refers to a common event where people are coming together for a certain purpose and not to people who just happen to be in the same place at the same time (for example: a concert is a gathering, but people shopping at a store is not))
- Indoor gatherings of more than 50 people regardless of whether social distancing of at least 6 feet is possible
- Gatherings outdoors of more than 25 people where social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible
- This ordinance does not apply to private spaces, such as homes or private backyards.
- Face coverings must completely cover the nose and mouth (see exemptions below).
- The following individuals are exempt from the requirements:
- Children under the age of five
- Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability such that wearing a face covering under the circumstances is not possible, reasonable, or prudent
- Individuals participating in official athletic events, training, or practices, in the reasonable discretion of their coaches or administrators, or engaging in strenuous physical activity where circumstances are not reasonably conducive to wearing a face covering, such as swimming, running, fitness classes, etc.
- Individuals who are eating or drinking while seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service
- Individuals who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service
- Individuals who are hearing impaired, or communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication
- Individuals who are purchasing a product or receiving a service that requires identification may briefly remove a face covering as necessary
- Individuals for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the individual related to their work, as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines
- Individual performers or speakers at large public gatherings who are at least six feet away from the crowd (like those speaking into a microphone in front of a group)
- All businesses open to the public must post in a clearly visible location at or near a public entrance or entrances a notice that face coverings are required by law where consistent social distancing of a least six feet from individuals not residing in the same household is not possible, reasonable, or prudent. A printable sign is available here.
- Organizers of indoor public gatherings of more than 50 people must require attendees to wear face coverings and must provide clear noticing about the face covering requirement at the entrances.
- Organizers of outdoor public gatherings of more than 25 people must require attendees to wear face coverings if social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.
- The emphasis is on education and compliance, with a violation classified as a civil infraction (not a criminal offense).
- A public gathering organizer that violates the rules for organizing such a gathering could be subject to a maximum fine of $500.00.
- The maximum fine for an individual violating the ordinance is $55.
- The mandate expires on November 15, 2020, unless the Council extends it by October 20, 2020.
- The Mayor did veto the ordinance BUT the Council lawfully overrode the veto. The ordinance is now in effect.
The meeting where the ordinance was passed can be seen below:
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