COVID-19

Taos council to vote on mandatory mask policy

Water restrictions also on Tuesday's agenda

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 6/29/20

The town of Taos will hold a special meeting Tuesday (June 30) to discuss a possible amendment to the currency emergency order making face coverings mandatory in the town. 

Face coverings are …

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COVID-19

Taos council to vote on mandatory mask policy

Water restrictions also on Tuesday's agenda

Posted

The town of Taos will hold a special virtual meeting Tuesday (June 30) at 4 p.m. to discuss an amendment to the current emergency order that would make face coverings mandatory in the town. 

Face coverings are required by the state’s emergency health declaration to help limit the spread of COVID-19, however the town council will vote whether or not to make them mandatory in the town limits and impose penalties for scoflaws. The state does not impose penalties on those not wearing masks. The amendment calls for a petty misdemeanor charge against violators of the order and up to a $50 fine. 

"We were trying to do this sooner," said  town manager Rick Bellis in a Facebook post, "but the state had reserved the right to be the only one to enforce state orders and pre-empted local governments till now from doing local public health orders of our own."

Bellis noted in the post that the town was looking at enforcing the mask policy because "the situation with persons from highly impacted states with few or no rules has been increasingly confrontational and impacting the community and will most likely get worse as the 4th of July holiday approaches, the summer heat in Texas and Arizona increases, and the virus in other states around us gets worse or they are forced to close down, so we will be taking additiona steps to protect locals from here on."

The proposed resolution the council will vote on says "all person’s age 5 and older shall be required to wear face coverings when in a public place, including stores, restaurants, offices, all for-profit and non-profit organizations, churches, medical facilities, streets, parks, schools, public and private gatherings. This order shall apply to all businesses and their employees, all customers, tourists, and any person outside of their own home, dwelling or residential unit, regardless of whether they are full-time, part-time, out-ofstate or out-of-town residents. "

The town of Taos has been handing out masks to the business community so employees in town can abide by the mask ruling set by the state. 

Town officials have said they plan to continue the distribution of masks to businesses.

During the meeting, the council will also discuss implementing stage three water restrictions in the town. Under these conditions, watering landscape between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. is prohibited. Stage 3 restrictions also states that lawns can only be watered once per week with even addresses watering on Tuesday and odd addresses on Wednesday. 

The meeting will be held  via Zoom conference on the town's website.

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