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Decatur City Council passes face mask wearing resolution, says could become mandatory

The resolution also mentions Decatur businesses

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 7:58 PM
Updated: Jun 30, 2020 7:46 AM

The Decatur City Council has passed a resolution that strongly encourages residents "to keep themselves and all citizens safe by wearing facial coverings/masks in public, sanitizing hands and practicing social physical distancing."

The resolution also encourages Decatur businesses to "require people entering their establishments to wear facial coverings/masks, sanitize their hands and practice social/physical distancing,"

The resolution also says that the city may be required to "implement legislation mandating compliance" if cases of coronavirus continue to grow in Morgan County.

However, Tueday night, the council is holding another special meeting to vote on an ordinance. This would propose mandatory mask wearing and a fine up to $500 for not complying. 

The council chose not to vote on this ordinance tonight, so they could have more time to look it over and make adjustments based off what the public had to say. 

In a socially distanced city chamber, the council heard several public statements Monday night and read off emails as well.

"Don't tell me how to live my life, I spent 17 years in the United States Army, defending our people and our constitution and our freedoms," One man said to council members. 

Many of those who showed up were against the ordinance. 

"Really what it boils down to at the end of the day is personal liberty and freedom because where is it going to stop?" One woman asked. 

Councilman Billy Jackson initiated Monday night's special meeting. He said the city is running out of time to take action to help stop the rapid growth of coronavirus cases in Decatur and Morgan County.

"The numbers are out there, and we're doing more testing and realizing there are more numbers out there than we actually realized than we actually think are out there," Jackson said. "It's important that we take precaution."

Jackson said the resolution itself is not enough. However, he hopes it will be a wake up call for people in Decatur. 

There are several exceptions in the current ordinance. It would exempt children 2 years old or younger. You would not have to wear a mask when eating or drinking, during a medical exam or procedure, a hair care service, working out, or at places of worship. 

However, Council President Paige Bibbee said they will continue to adjust the list.

"I think there are special circumstances that we will address in the ordinance that absolutely have merit," Bibbee said. "So I think those need to be worked out."

In order to the pass the ordinance Tuesday night, the vote does not have to unanimous. However if it is, the ordinance will go into effect immediately.

If that does not happen, but there is still a majority vote, it would have to sit through two agenda meetings. 

The ordinance would not apply to school systems. They would have to implement their own face covering policy.

Bibbee said they are in talks with Decatur Police on the best way to implement the ordinance.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 137564

Reported Deaths: 2399
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19938351
Mobile13507293
Montgomery8866185
Tuscaloosa8837118
Madison798179
Shelby607449
Lee597161
Baldwin560650
Marshall397543
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Houston293921
Elmore271948
DeKalb244321
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Walker235485
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Limestone214420
Cullman191920
Dallas179826
Franklin179130
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Russell17683
Lauderdale175133
Colbert167726
Blount162115
Escambia161624
Jackson159712
Chilton159530
Covington140727
Dale140344
Coffee13716
Pike121611
Chambers117542
Tallapoosa117185
Clarke110316
Marion97529
Butler91740
Barbour8867
Winston75013
Marengo72620
Pickens67014
Randolph66613
Lowndes65927
Bibb65810
Hale64928
Geneva6444
Lawrence63425
Cherokee61713
Bullock60714
Clay5918
Monroe5908
Washington56012
Crenshaw54332
Perry5426
Conecuh53911
Wilcox53211
Henry5105
Macon48318
Fayette4689
Sumter43719
Cleburne3945
Lamar3822
Choctaw35112
Greene30515
Coosa1743
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 194611

Reported Deaths: 2420
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby31097466
Davidson26797311
Hamilton963495
Knox960579
Rutherford945290
Williamson536636
Sumner489598
Wilson356247
Putnam336541
Montgomery313344
Unassigned30444
Madison299265
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Blount256324
Maury242725
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Sullivan223133
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Gibson172624
Trousdale16697
Hardeman158426
Wayne15015
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Bedford137317
Dickson128015
Coffee127713
Fayette122719
Cumberland121919
Weakley121620
Anderson121013
Obion120211
Loudon11996
Henderson119125
Carter118028
Greene116946
McMinn116325
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Lawrence108913
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Macon106721
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Haywood99821
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White85510
Rhea85413
Hawkins82720
Cheatham8199
Marshall7815
Overton7706
Cocke75310
Smith74011
Johnson7323
Chester65011
Giles64417
Lincoln6331
Henry6309
Hickman6008
DeKalb57414
Marion5518
Fentress5463
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Decatur5347
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Polk40710
Grainger3943
Union3762
Benton3418
Jackson3325
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Grundy3176
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