The City Council approved Resolution No. 2020-12 this week to strongly encourage Bainbridge Islanders and visitors to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The directive, which is intended to be a forceful, clear statement from the Council about the importance of wearing face coverings during this unprecedented time, applies to properties that adjoin Winslow Way, from the Washington State Ferry Terminal to Grow Avenue.
People are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in public when they can’t maintain six feet of distance from others who do not share their household. People are encouraged to wear a face covering while at a retail establishment, picking up food, walking along the sidewalk and trails, and in other circumstances as described in the resolution. The directive includes certain exceptions, including for any individual who has a physical disability that prevents easily wearing or removing a face covering.
In addition, the Council created an ad hoc committee, consisting of Councilmembers Kirsten Hytopoulos, Michael Pollock, and Christy Carr. The committee is tasked with developing for the Council’s consideration an ordinance to legally require, rather than strongly encourage, face coverings as a possible next step. The Council plans to discuss such a proposed ordinance at an upcoming meeting, the date of which has not yet been determined.
Watch the June 9 Council discussion here.
On June 23, the Council will discuss additional proposals related to this topic offered by Councilmember Joe Deets. Those proposals include efforts to make face coverings widely available, and an outreach program to provide information to the public about the importance of such measures to keep the community safe in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.