Face coverings now required on buses, in city facilities

Libraries, buses and other city facilities will require cloth face coverings, per new ordinance

People using city facilities and services such as buses will have to wear cloth face coverings until at least the end of June after the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly passed a resolution Thursday night issuing the requirement.

Exactly which facilities will require face masks will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the city manager, but Assembly members specifically mentioned libraries and buses as areas that should require face coverings.

The text of the ordinance also requires the city to provide cloth masks to those who can’t afford their own at any city facility that requires them. There are exceptions, including children under 12 and anyone with a disability that may prevent or make it difficult for them to wear a face covering.

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The CDC recommends that children under 2 should not wear masks at all, and the ordinance states children under 12 can wear a mask but only with the supervision of a parent or guardian.

Those who do not comply with the order and have been denied city services can apply for reasonable accommodation by contacting the city manager’s office, the ordinance says.

Ordinance 2020-25, went into effect immediately after Thursday’s vote and is set to expire at midnight June 30 unless extended by the Assembly.

The ordinance cites recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of Alaska calling for the use of face covering in public. According to the CDC, a face covering should fit snugly over both the nose and mouth. The state’s health alert recommending face coverings defines them this way: “A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.”

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

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