Post Content

Council to Vote on Requiring Face Masks in Alexandria

Can’t avoid a crowd in Alexandria? On Saturday, the Alexandria City Council will vote on an ordinance that requires people to wear face masks indoors and outdoors in settings where six feet of physical distancing can’t be followed.

A $100 civil fine would be imposed on lawbreakers, but city staff maintain that the ordinance is geared toward education and not enforcement. Police officers will not issue the civil citations, and the city manager’s office has yet to designate a city agency that would administer them. If approved, the ordinance would go into effect on October 1 and expire when Alexandria’s local emergency declaration ends.

“Personally, I don’t go anywhere without a mask,” said Councilman Canek Aguirre, who questioned the effectiveness of the enforcement aspect. “I am in favor of this ordinance and the concept of it, however I do have some hesitation.”

City Councilwoman Amy Jackson said the community has received enough education over COVID-19 over the last six months.

“My concern is that this is window dressing,” Jackson said. “If it’s a $100 fine and we’re down on lower King Street, who is enforcing it?”

There are exceptions. Children under the age of 10 will not be required to wear a mask, nor will people with disabilities that can’t wear them for health reasons and athletes falling within the governor’s executive order on COVID-19 restrictions.

What about waiting for food at a restaurant?

“Face coverings are still required to be worn while waiting to receive food or beverages, or during substantial breaks between periods of eating and drinking,” the ordinance states.

Assistant City Manager Debra Collins said that this is an important step in flattening the curve.

“We’re hoping that by having whatever designated department staff, whether it’s Parks and Rec., maybe some T&ES (Transportation and Environmental Services) and they see the need for some compliance, that we can offer the mask and we’re not necessarily charging one population that probably can not afford it,” Collins said.

City Manager Mark Jinks has not yet designated which department will ensure compliance, but said that staff will hand out face masks in public as a first step.

“I would say it’s about getting compliance through education, through having people who are not law enforcement officers who are on the streets,” Jinks said. “You basically tell somebody, ‘This is what you need to do for the good of the population, here’s a face mask,’ and you move on to the next person.”

Jinks added, “The advantage of having the ordinance is that it’s the law, you need to do this, and that helps underscore to folks that they need to keep the face masks on when they’re in public places described in this ordinance.”

Councilman Mo Seifeldein anticipates city staff will gently enforce the ordinance.

“I think we need to be as safe as we can, but at the end of the day it’s going to be a social responsibility by each of us to try and wear the mask whenever possible, and this is a step that will hopefully get us to that point,” Seifeldein said. “We want this to become a habit over time.”

There are 62 COVID-related fatalities and there are now or have been 3,558 cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Recent Stories

Mindy’s Catering, a catering company based out of the Berkley neighborhood in D.C., is moving to an industrial park just across the street from the Victory Center. A special use…

Zen kitty Callie is looking for a new home in Alexandria. The 13-year-old female domestic longhaired brown and gray tabby cat is up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League…

The Alexandria City Council unanimously approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, ushering in a new era of collaboration with city employees. If likely approved…

As a time of giving, Ask McEnearney spotlights the community revitalization in Alexandria.

High School Senior Anxious about College Life? Our amazing graduate interns, Meghan Damminger and Kelly Charwat are starting an affordable College Readiness group in early 2023. Working out day and time. Please email [email protected] to set up a free consultation after the Thanksgiving holiday. And yes, Meghan and Kelly have a few openings for individual clients as well. Their rate is $45 per session. [www.sarahmoorelpc.com](http://www.sarahmoorelpc.com/?fbclid=IwAR3ZlfQnSLVRCc78HbTZutDYZErTctC_5pl- zt4eo_wjQo1gF6uHS–k32g).

Submit your own Community Post here.

Monarch Montessori School, located in the education center at 218 East Monroe Avenue, is currently enrolling infants and toddlers for the 2022-2023 school year. We’re an authentic Montessori preschool with a STEM emphasis!

We Offer: Arts & Crafts, Yoga & Pottery, Language & Early Literacy, Botany & Culinary Arts, Music Appreciation, Chorus & Language Immersion, Mathematics, Geography & Science, Practical Life & Culture.

Full-time, part-time, flexible and drop-in options!

RATES

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Brassy Jazzy Christmas

Don’t miss this toe tapping celebration!

The Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia (SONOVA) presents “Brassy Jazzy Christmas,” a strong lineup of Christmas and holiday favorites. Inspired by Stan Keton’s album “A Merry Christmas!,” SONOVA has created a jazz band–substituting french

Alexandria’s 47th Annual Turkey Trot 5 Mile Race

Join in Alexandria’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition- the 47th Turkey Trot 5 Mile Race. Alexandria’s favorite Thanksgiving morning tradition, the Alexandria Turkey Trot, returns to the streets of Del Ray on Thursday, November 24 at 9 a.m. In the spirit of

×

Subscribe to our mailing list