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Provo won't mandate masks, but will give them away for free

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Posted at 3:09 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 19:21:57-04

PROVO, Utah — At the entrance to City Hall, a sign urges people to wear a face mask. There's a bottle of hand sanitizer and a pile of face coverings for anyone who needs one.

It's an effort by the city to get residents to voluntarily adopt the wearing of a face covering. But Mayor Michelle Kaufusi said she will not mandate it, as other cities and counties have done.

"I have made it very clear that I am not going to mandate masks. But I am going to use the word expected," Mayor Kaufusi said in an interview with FOX 13 on Wednesday, where she wore a face covering. "It is expected of you to wear a mask to benefit and do your small part in this community."

Mayor Kaufusi said she has been inundated with emails and communications from constituents for and against mask mandates.

"I just decided that with the mandate word, it’s not the type of leader I am," she said.

Instead, Provo is launching a public awareness campaign to encourage voluntary adoption. The mayor and city council have declared August as "Mask Month." All city-run facilities will have "mask stations" that offer free face coverings and it is expected that they wear them inside, she said.