WEST LAFAYETTE — Wearing a face mask is now mnandatory after an executive order by West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis on Monday (July 13).
According to the executive order those with first-time face mask violations can be fined up to $100, and up to $250 for a second violation.
“There will be nothing that will make me happier than to look at that executive order and say, ‘Yep, it’s time to get it off the books — we’re good now’,” Dennis stated. “But we’re not going to get to that point until people comply.”
The order, effective immediately, mandates wearing masks in businesses open to the general public or by appointment, including but not limited to:
- Grocery stores
- Retail stores
- Health care facilities
- Restaurants and bars (the order notes that masks do not have to be worn if the customer is seated at a table or bar)
- Banquet and catering facilities
- Personal care
- Tattoo facilities
- Child care
- Day camp
- Overnight camp facilities
- Hotels and motels
- Gyms (unless actively exercising)
Religious facilities are not included.
The order also states that masks are required in West Lafayette city buildings, public transportation (including taxis and rideshare vehicles), and in outdoor spaces where six feet of social distance is not possible.
“One thing we know for sure — that if you can’t keep social distancing requirements, if you can’t keep six feet between you and somebody else, it’s imperative that you wear a mask,” Dennis said.
Children aged six and younger are exempt from the mandate. The order also exempts “school individuals (including students, administrators, staff, and teachers) on or in school or school district facilities.”
The order referrs to the city’s “unique risks and challenges” with the arrival of Purdue University students next month.
“We need to make sure that we look after our student citizens as well as our static citizens,” Dennis said. “And I have received a lot of e-mails, and phone calls, and texts with people who are concerned about what happens off-campus. Well, now I can tell them: the exact same thing that would happen on-campus.”