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Provo Council votes to mandate masks - again

Face mask
Posted at 9:41 PM, Aug 27, 2020

PROVO, Utah — The Provo City Council voted to override a mayoral veto of a citywide mask mandate.

It went into effect almost immediately Thursday night after a 6 to 1 vote.

Read the full ordinance here.

It strikes down Mayor Michelle Kaufusi’s veto filed on Wednesday.

Deputy Mayor Isaac Paxman tells FOX13 the mayor believes masks should be encouraged, not required.

“The mayor believes, especially in Provo, the right way to go is not to do an ordinance, but just to keep encouraging people and educating them,” said Paxman.

The mandate requires people to wear face masks in public where social distancing isn’t possible.

Violators could face a $55 fine. Event organizers could be fined $500 if they don’t enforce face coverings.

It also requires businesses to post signage.

“There are very strong feelings on this issue on both sides and we understand why,” said council chair George Handley.

A city survey of 4,400 people found a small majority strongly approve of the mandate.

“I think it’s kind of a good idea. It’s like a seat belt law. There is a pandemic going on. It’s good common sense, why not,” said Max Florschutz.

“I”m not a huge fan of it myself. It’s kind of annoying but I’ll do it since it’s something we’ve been asked to do,” said BYU student Jacob Johnson.

The council acknowledges the law isn’t perfect and plan to revisit it on Tuesday.

“As this mask requirement goes into effect, this should not be seen as an invitation to start reporting those who aren’t wearing masks. This is a request that people in Provo wear a mask in public because it is the right thing to do and, now, it is the law,” a statement from the council said in a press release.

The ordinance is set to expire November 15 unless extended by October 20, 2020.