Mayor Nancy Vaughan is jumping on the facemask emergency proclamation bandwagon with an order that people in Greensboro wear facemasks beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 23.

There is good news about the emergency order requiring people in Greensboro to wear masks in public; there is no penalty for not wearing a mask.

Violating the various stay-at-home orders is a misdemeanor, but there is no such language in Vaughan’s emergency proclamation requiring people to wear masks.

The proclamation states, “The intent of this declaration is to encourage voluntary compliance with the requirements established herein by businesses and persons within the City of Greensboro. Law enforcement and other public safety and emergency management personnel are strongly encouraged to educate and encourage voluntary compliance with this order.”

The proclamation also states, “All persons who are present within the jurisdiction of the City of Greensboro are required to wear a clean face covering any time they are, or will be, in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distance or where recommended social distancing practices are not being followed. These spaces include grocery stores, pharmacies, business locations, parking lots, sidewalks and public transit. While wearing the face covering, it is essential to still maintain social distance insofar as possible since social distancing is the best defense against the spread of the COVID-19.”

The proclamation goes on to describe what a face covering is “material that covers the nose and mouth” and to list acceptable face coverings, which include: “bandanas, neck gaiters, homemade face coverings, scarves, or tightly woven fabric such as cotton t-shirts and some types of towels.”

Vaughan at a virtual City Council meeting recently said that she wore a facemask when out in public except when she went on a walk. Councilmember Goldie Wells said that she should wear a facemask even on walks. Vaughan’s preference is included in this proclamation, “It is not required to wear face coverings during individual exercise outdoors, or while walking or exercising with other people from the same household, as long as social distance from others is maintained.”

The proclamation also states, “Face coverings are not required:

  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering.
  • For those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition.
  • For children under 12 years old.
  • For restaurant patrons while they are dining.
  • In private, individual offices.
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers.
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services, such as the receipt of dental services or while swimming.
  • While with members of a family or the same household.”