The Georgetown City Council voted Thursday morning, July 2 in a online council meeting to approve a face mask ordinance.
In an unanimous vote, city council members decided that requiring residents to wear a mask was the best course of action given the rising cases in the city during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mask ordinance would "require require individuals to wear face coverings in certain establishments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The law requires the use of mask while inside a retail businesses or restaurant, but restaurant customers are not required to wear a mask while dining. Other exemptions are health concerns, religious or spiritual belief, children under 10 and person services “where it is not practical or feasible" to wear a face covering.
According to the ordinance, failure to comply with the ordinance carries a $50 fine. A person cannot be fined more than once per day. A business could also risk losing their license for repeat violations if their employees are caught not wearing masks.
Georgetown Mayor Brendan Barber said they are giving establishments more authority to mandate a mask ordinance. Georgetownians need to put life first and then our economic recovery will happen more speedily than other towns, he said.
"We have to be the guardians of everyone, not just the select few," Barber said during the meeting.
"We're in a country where we've been free so long we're not use to being told or ask what to do. But we have to realize that we're in a situation where lives matter. As a city, we can't bear the burden of losing a life."
See the full ordinance here.