The Alexandria City Council approved a new ordinance that will mandate face coverings at indoor and outdoor public settings in the Virginia city starting October.
Alexandria’s new mask ordinance takes effect Oct. 1 and applies to anyone in a public space over the age of 10. It includes those present at indoor venues, as well as outdoor areas where social distancing isn’t achievable. Exceptions will be made for eating and drinking, or for religious and safety concerns.
“COVID-19 is extremely easy to transmit, can be transmitted by infected people who show no symptoms, and the population has not developed herd immunity,” reads the ordinance. “At this time, there is no known cure, no effective treatment, no vaccine; and because people may be infected but asymptomatic, they may unwittingly infect others.”
First-time offenders will be reminded to wear a mask. City officials considered but ultimately opted against imposing a $100 fine for those who failed to adhere.
The mandate will remain in effect until Alexandria’s local emergency declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic, originally issued March 14, is rescinded.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated that city officials had approved a fine of up to $100 for repeat offenders. The fine was considered, but removed from the final ordinance.
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