The LeRoy City Council is expected to consider a measure that would require people to wear masks when in public, or potentially face a fine.
The basic ordinance was created by the Illinois Municipal League and modified as needed by LeRoy's city administrator for local use, LeRoy Mayor Steve Dean said on Facebook.
“I realize that there are many differing feelings and opinions, both pro and con, when it comes to masks and other face coverings,” Dean wrote. “To that end, I would encourage you to contact your aldermen and express your thoughts on the matter.”
A growing number of scientific studies support the idea that masks are a critical tool in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
Illinois already has a statewide mask mandate, but enforcement is lax. Gov. JB Pritzker said this week he thinks it's worth considering fines, but at the local level.
In LeRoy, masks would be required when shopping or working at grocery stores or pharmacies, when picking up food from a drive-thru, or visiting a health care provider, among other times. The proposed ordinance includes several exceptions, such as children under age 2, or when you are eating, drinking, or jogging and socially distanced.
It’s unclear what level of fine a person could face if residents don’t comply. The proposed ordinance cites the “nuisances” section of city code that calls for fines of between $50 and $250 for things like public indecency, open fires, and private property nuisances. Dean said in a Facebook comment that the fine amount would be set by the council only if the ordinance is approved. If it’s not approved, there’s no need to set fines, he said.
Dean declined to comment when reached by WGLT on Thursday. He said it was a local matter. The council will discuss the ordinance at its Aug. 17 meeting.
LeRoy is a city of about 3,500 people, located southeast of Bloomington-Normal. The 61752 ZIP code, which includes LeRoy, has seen seven cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
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