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Siloam Springs passes face coverings resolution

The resolution encourages residents to wear face coverings when in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. — The City of Siloam Springs has passed a face coverings resolution to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The resolution passed on Tuesday (July 7) encourages the public to wear masks and encourages businesses to require patrons to wear masks if subject to directives issued by the Arkansas Department of Health, all in an effort to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

On March 11, 2020, Governor Hutchinson issued an executive order declaring a statewide public health emergency due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. 

On May 5, 2020, the Governor issued another executive order extending the previously declared emergency until June 19, 2020. 

On June 18, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order 20-37 extending the declared emergency for another 60 days. 

The Arkansas Department of Health and other leading health organizations state that the best way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus is to: 

  • Practice good personal hygiene (washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available); 
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding close contact with others by keeping at least 6-foot distance between individuals; 
  • The wearing of a cloth mask when in public and unable to maintain the 6-foot distance from others; and 
  • Being tested for COVID-19 if one believes they’ve been exposed or if they develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. 

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise within the State, and more specifically within Northwest Arkansas. 

The Arkansas Municipal League has suggested that municipalities should do all they can to strongly encourage the public to wear masks when appropriate and encourage businesses subject to directives issued by the Arkansas Department of Health requiring patrons to wear masks to do likewise. 

For this reason, AML has forwarded a similar resolution to Arkansas cities and is suggesting that it be adopted by city boards and councils.

A municipal ordinance generally means that a municipal act is adopted that has the force and effect of a law, the violation of which may be enforced in city municipal court. A resolution is a formal expression of the opinion or will of an official municipal body adopted by a vote. 

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed an executive order on Friday (July 3) allowing cities to require masks in public in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 in the state.

The City of Fort Smith has passed a similar resolution. 

RELATED: Fort Smith Board of Directors pass face mask resolution, meeting set to decide on possible ordinance

RELATED: Coronavirus in Arkansas: Tracking COVID-19 Where You Live