A RESOLUTION OF THE PROVO CITY MUNICIPAL COUNCIL REGARDING THE NECESSITY OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AND/OR MASK WEARING TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.
WHEREAS, the State of Utah has been in a declared state of emergency due to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) since March 6, 2020, which worldwide disease outbreak has been characterized by the World Health Organization as a pandemic; and
WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that COVID-19 is easily spread through the air from person to person who are in close contact with one another; and
WHEREAS, federal, state, and local authorities have recommended that individuals limit public gatherings, wear face masks, and follow social distancing guidelines; and
WHEREAS, a BYU study, “Making sense of the research on COVID-19 and masks,” concluded that “masks could be one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools to stop COVID-19 and accelerate the economic recovery;” and
WHEREAS, another BYU study, “Provo City and BYU need to be Partners during COVID-19,” notes that while BYU has done extensive work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through on-campus networks, the close proximity and interconnectedness of the students with the larger community off campus can seed larger outbreaks of the disease; therefore, the study recommends that masks be required in all businesses and enclosed spaces outside the home and that gatherings larger than 50 people not be permitted; and
WHEREAS, approximately 16,000 public school students and another 70,000 BYU and UVU students are returning to school over the next few weeks, most of whom will live, work, study, shop, and recreate in Provo and Orem, thereby expanding the interconnectedness of social networks and economic activity in our communities; and
WHEREAS, without greater compliance to the State’s “Phased Guidelines for the General Public and Businesses to Maximize Public Health and Economic Reactivation,” including social 36 distancing and the wearing of masks, to slow the transmission of COVID-19, the city, county, and state risk greater restrictions on business and school operations, and the corollary effects of such restrictions.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that we, the members of the Provo City Municipal Council, declare that this is a time to act collaboratively on behalf of others. It is the nature of a pandemic that only collective action that reaches high rates of compliance will ensure protection to the whole community and reduce the most significant risks to individuals. We call upon all persons who live, work, study, shop, or play in Provo City to accept personal responsibility to each do our part to follow public health guidelines to the best of their abilities and within reason. Specifically, we:
1. Believe it necessary that the following measures be implemented at the state, county, and municipal levels:
b. Require the wearing of masks at any indoor gathering over 50 persons regardless of whether social distancing can be observed and encourage the same for smaller gatherings where social distancing is not possible; and
c. Require the posting of signage at all entrances to public spaces and public buildings, and encourage the same with local businesses requiring the wearing of face masks where social distancing is not reasonable, possible, or prudent; and
d. That these additional public health guidelines remain in effect so long as the state, county, or city declared public health emergency continues; and
2. Call upon Provo City Mayor Kaufusi and her Administration to:
b. Expand the City’s Mask -Up information campaign to spread awareness and increase compliance with the State of Utah’s “Phased Guidelines for the General Public and Businesses to Maximize Public Health and Economic Reactivation” and to request the appropriation, if necessary, of funds necessary to support this effort; and
c. Coordinate the City’s efforts with local universities and public schools and neighboring towns.
3. Call upon all persons who live, work, study, shop, or play in Provo City to:
b. Be respectful of those persons whose opinions and health issues are different than your own on these public health measures; and
c. Follow the directives of our elected state and local leaders, and our state and county health departments, relying upon the common sense and charitable character of Provo’s citizens, with the hope that the COVID-19 infection rate does not increase to such an extent that more restrictive measures become a public health necessity.
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