The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District’s new face mask ordinance will be enforced under penalty of law, administrator Julie Pryde said Wednesday.
What that means: Those ages 2 and up that are medically able to do so must wear a mask when unable to social distance – inside or outside – or face penalties that could include a $2,500 fine.
“What’s new about this is now there is enforcement associated with it,” Pryde said. “The vast majority of our county is doing a great job with this. There are places that, for whatever reason, are not. The enforcement piece of this, which is new, the enforcement can be done by Public Health, police officers, sheriffs, other employees of state and local agencies. It will require basically a three-step process: A written notice of non-compliance, order to disperse, and then it can be fines up to $2,500.
“We certainly are hoping we do not have to use those anywhere in this county, that people will understand the importance of guidelines and their importance of continuing what we want to do, and that is keep the university open, keep businesses open and keep us moving forward.”
The new ordinance, Pryde said, has been cleared by the state of Illinois’ Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and “has the full effect of law.” It applies to individuals as well as “any business, service facility, organization that’s open to the public has to have employees and customers and any other individuals going in there must wear face coverings.” That includes public and private schools, institutions of private learning, vocation programs and daycares.
“We’ve used basically carrots forever for this, and it works for most people,” Pryde said. “Unfortunately sometimes you need the stick, which is a law enforcement piece.”
View the new ordinance: CUPHD Face Coverings Ordinance
Additionally, gatherings of more than 50 people are banned, though space restrictions for buildings with less than a 50-person occupancy will be limited to 50 percent of capacity.
The mayors of Urbana and Champaign have issued orders this week with further restrictions related to COVID-19 as University of Illinois students return to classes.
Urbana’s order requires patrons to be seated at bars and restaurants, wear masks when not eating or drinking and maintain social distancing. Businesses holding a Class a liquor license must restrict entry to those age 21 or up after 9 p.m.
Champaign has issued a similar order, which applies to all bars and restaurants in Champaign which hold a liquor license. It requires all customers to be seated and applies to indoor and outdoor service areas. Customers may stand only for limited purposes, including using the restroom or picking up an order, but must wear a face covering when doing so. There are further restrictions on Campustown dining establishments.
Mayor Deb Frank Feinen said earlier Wednesday the city planned to “issue later today a party ordinance that would restrict party gatherings in the Campustown area and multi-family units to the people who live in the premises and to no more than 10 additional people.”