The Forsyth Board of Alderman have passed a face covering ordinance. 

At their meeting on July 20, aldermen voted and approved the first and second reading of Bill 526, which is a face covering ordinance due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22 and will remain in effect until it is modified or rescinded. 

During the public comment period of the meeting, a handful of city residents spoke both in favor of and against the ordinance. Forsyth Mayor Kelly Dougherty also read from a handful of emails from residents who wished to voice their support or opposition of the ordinance, but were unable to attend the meeting in person. 

Forsyth Ward II Alderman Greg Dougherty said that by passing the face coverings ordinance and having residents team it up with the six-feet social distancing and staying at home when you don’t have to go out, the aldermen hope it will help to stop the increase in COVID-19 cases. 

“It’s just something I think we have finally decided we’ve got to get done. Try it. Just try it. We’re sorry if it puts anybody out especially, but we also want to keep our businesses open,” said Greg Dougherty. “We don’t want to get back to phase one. That’s pretty much our other alternative in our eyes, is to go back to phase one. We don’t want that.”

Following his statements, Kelly Dougherty added, “We can not shut back down again. Our businesses won’t survive that … We can’t go backwards. We need to live. We need to go on. In order to do that, it’s a small sacrifice to wear a face mask, so be it.”

The ordinance states it is unlawful for anyone to be in a public space without wearing a face covering. The ordinance defines the following places as public spaces: Banks, convention facilities, common areas, shopping centers, laundromats, reception areas, restaurants, retail establishments, retail stores, schools, spas, sports arenas, theaters, waiting rooms, amusement parks, attractions and any place where food is prepared or stored. 

Exceptions to the face covering ordinance include children under the age of 13, any person with a health condition documented by a medical professional that prohibits wearing a face covering, any person who is hearing impaired or someone who is communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, any person who is in a public place consuming food, drink or smoking while seated and maintaining six feet of physical distance, any person in the water at a swimming pool or lake, any person obtaining a service including the face or nose, any person playing a sport or exercising, any person who is outdoors and maintaining six feet or physical distance, any person performing on a fixed stage, any person engaged in public speaking and maintaining six feet of physical distance, any public safety officer engaged in an emergency situation. 

The ordinance also states that it is unlawful for any person operating a public space to allow any person in the public space who is not wearing a face covering unless that person in the public space is exempt from wearing a face covering as provided in this ordinance.     

According to the ordinance, anyone who fails to wear a face covering when required can be charged a fine of up to $100 and court costs. 

“What we are going to do is polite policing,” said Kelly Dougherty. “We’ve been doing that. Chief Forrest is amazing with the polite policing. 

“So he’s got his crew, and they’re working out a plan of what they’re going to do. If they can convince somebody to wear a mask or leave the facility, that’s what they’ll do, versus give them a fine.”

The ordinance also states signage is required to be posted at all points of entry and exit for all city business operations. The signs must state the following: “It is a violation of law to enter the premises without a face covering. 

Please maintain at least six feet of distance between individuals that are not family members or do not reside together.”

(3) comments

William B

Sounds criminal. This is an un-scientific law that was forced apond the people. What are they going to do during flue season, the same thing? Look at the numbers folks cv19 has done less then the flue. But keep listening to the same politicians that let people who are kill in car accidents be labeled as CV19 deaths. Government corruption is huge right now. Victimless crime is not a crime, polite policing I am sure the Brown Coats said the same thing. Dangerous times people.

So Sick Of This Nonsense

First, no ‘e’ in flu. Second, people spewing ideas like those in your post are the reason instances are rising. And third, 140,000+ killed in four months with no vaccine or proven treatment means this is much more serious than the flu(no e). Do you feel seatbelt ordinances in place to lower fatality accidents are also criminal and infringe on your “rights”? I understand there is an aluminum shortage, too many people making hats!?!

(Edited by staff.)

Martyfarty

They say the mask do nothing but yet they want us to wear them , seems like a control game , Trojan Horse , if China really did do this them we need to be at war for the chemical warfare they did or is our Government trying to repay social security by knocking off the elderly because they robed it’s for a impeachment they lost

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