Trenton City Council to consider mask mandate at Monday meeting

Mask Mandate News Graphic

The Trenton City Council will consider an ordinance the night of December 7th establishing a requirement for face coverings to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19. The ordinance would require persons at least 10 years old to wear a face mask any time they are or will be in contact with others who are not household members and when outside of private residences.

The ordinance notes a mask that incorporates a one-way valve designed to facilitate easy exhaling allows droplets to be released from the mask, putting others at risk. That type of mask would not be a face mask under the ordinance.

Employers would be asked to provide hand sanitizer and make face masks available any time an employee or a staff person is required to wear a face mask. Licensed businesses in Trenton would be asked to not permit or allow persons working at the licensed premises to engage in work without the use of face masks unless exempted.

A person would be exempt from wearing a face mask while outdoors or exercising outdoors or indoors and able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, when engaged in a sporting activity, while in a private residence, and while eating or drinking when inside or in an outside dining area of an establishment that offers food and beverage service provided persons are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others seated at other tables. Other exemptions would include when an individual has a medical or mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a face mask when anyone attempting communication is deaf or hard of hearing, and while obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of a face mask.

A person would also be permitted to remove a face mask when necessary to confirm an individual’s identity when federal or state law prohibits wearing a face mask or requires its removal when requested by a law enforcement officer or medical provider, and when in a business, commercial, or office setting and not within six feet of others.

The City of Trenton would order enforcement be administered by education and an opportunity for compliance followed by a warning and a municipal citation, if necessary. A person convicted of a violation of the ordinance may be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed $100. City Administrator Ron Urton notes the police typically enforce city ordinances, and enforcement of the ordinance would need to be discussed at December 7th’s city council meeting.

No person would be in violation of the ordinance if a person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls a place at which face masks are required requires compliance with the ordinance and a patron or customer refuses to wear a face covering. A person would also not be held responsible for the actions of a place’s patrons or customers provided efforts are made to educate and inform.

The Trenton City Council meeting on Monday evening, December 7th at 7:30 o’clock will be available to the public via this Zoom link

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash