Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld issued a proclamation, and the Johnston City Council approved a resolution, which supports and ratifies the mayor’s proclamation, on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, encouraging the observance of public health practices to slow the spread of COVID-19. The proclamation will remain in effect until it is rescinded.
The proclamation requires any persons over the age of two to wear a mask or face covering when entering a City of Johnston public building, office, or facility in Johnston.
When indoors at a business or retail location, every Johnston citizen, employee, and visitor is strongly and urgently encouraged to wear a mask or other face-covering at all times. A mask should be worn regardless of the time spent or ability to social distance, in all indoor spaces open to the public and outdoors when physical distancing of six feet or more cannot be maintained. The mask or other face covering should cover the person’s nose and mouth, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
In addition to wearing a mask or face covering, frequent hand washing and social distancing are also encouraged.
“Our expectation is that every time a person enters a grocery, retail store, or other business in Johnston, they will wear a mask to protect themselves and others from further spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Paula Dierenfeld. “We need the immediate and full cooperation of every person in Johnston to reduce the burden of COVID-19 cases on our local hospitals and health care workers. This will help get our students back in their classrooms, allow our businesses to remain open and our families to once again gather for holidays and special events.”
The City of Johnston encourages businesses to place a sign in the front of their entrance, so visitors know to put on a mask before entering. Click here (PDF) to download a sign.
Mask Up Johnston Campaign
City leaders encourage residents to participate in the #MaskUpJohnston campaign to slow the spread and keep our community and loved ones safe. Please take a photo with this sign (PDF) and tell us why you wear a mask. Please email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your photo may appear on our website and social media channels. Let’s gather together to protect our community.
Summary of City of Johnston Proclamation (Click here (PDF) to view the full proclamation.)
The emergency powers granted to the Mayor of Johnston pursuant to Section 15.02(2) of the Johnston City Code of Ordinances and Section 372.14(2) of the Code of Iowa (2019) to take action to protect the health and safety of Johnston citizens and to provide emergency assistance to those affected by the emergency continue to be invoked.
Section 3. Face Mask Use in City-Owned Buildings.
In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, all persons entering a public building, office or facility of the City of Johnston shall wear a mask or other face covering. This requirement does not apply to the following:
A. A child under the age of two.
B. A person with a medical condition or disability that prevents the person from wearing a mask or other face-covering.
C. A person working alone or in a space where six feet of physical space can be maintained.
D. A person consuming food or drink when physically distanced from others by six feet or more.
E. A person obtaining or providing a service that requires the temporary removal of a mask or face covering as long as physically distancing is maintained.
F. A public safety worker actively engaged in a public safety role and the mask or face covering would seriously interfere in the performance of their public safety responsibilities.
G. Any person asked by a police officer to remove a mask or face covering to verify the person’s identity or for any other lawful purpose.
Section 4. Face Mask Use in Indoor Public Spaces (Not Covered by Section 3) and Outdoors.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, every Johnston citizen, employee and visitor is strongly and urgently encouraged to wear a mask or other face covering at all times, regardless of the time spent or ability to social distance, in all indoor spaces open to the public, including offices, retail stores and other business establishments, and outdoors when physical distancing of six feet or more cannot be maintained. Masks or other face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth, as recommended by the CDC and IDPH.
Also, the CDC and IDPH guidelines recommending frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer, and social distancing should be followed. Strict adherence to these protocols is the only defense currently available to fight the unyielding spread of COVID-19 in our state at the present time. Businesses and other organizations that are open to the public are encouraged to post signs at the entrances of their buildings informing the public and their employees of their legal obligation to wear a mask or face covering, consistent with the Governor’s November 16, 2020 proclamation. Immediate and full operation of every person in Johnston is necessary in order to decrease the burden of COVID-19 cases on our local hospitals and health care workers and to allow our schools to re-open, local businesses to remain open and our families to once again gather for holidays and special events.
Section 5. Provision of Face Masks.
In further effort to combat COVID-19, the City Manager shall use federal Cares Act funding to procure face masks for distribution by city officials and employees to members of the public not using a face mask and to businesses and other organizations to encourage their patrons’ use.
Section 6. Enforcement.
Any violation of this Proclamation shall be punishable pursuant to Section 15.02(2) of the Johnston City Code of Ordinances and all Proclamations of Disaster Emergency issued concerning the COVID-19 crisis by Governor Kim Reynolds.