Q: What does this ordinance do?
A: The ordinance supports the directives and guidance issued by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) in relation to fighting the spread of COVID-19 for residents and visitors of Hot Springs.
- - -
Q: Why is this ordinance being referred to as requiring the use of face masks?
A: Through this public health emergency and economic crisis, ADH and the governor have issued directives and guidance to both slow the spread of the virus and to safely keep Arkansas’ economy intact. Overwhelming evidence has demonstrated that the use of face masks, when social distancing of at least 6 feet cannot be maintained, is the most important action individuals can take to both slow the spread of the virus and safely keep businesses open.
- - -
Q: Am I required to wear a face mask?
A: Face masks are only required as already mandated by ADH directives relating to the state’s phased reopening, or as required by individual businesses. ADH guidance, or recommendations, encourage the use of face masks when in public spaces in which social distancing of at least 6 feet cannot be maintained.
- - -
Q: Why did the Board of Directors for the City of Hot Springs decide to consider and pass this ordinance?
A: First and foremost, the Board passed this ordinance to demonstrate the City’s dedication to the health of our residents and visitors. Additionally, the health of our local economy, the reopening of schools and a return to the life in Hot Springs to which we have been accustomed are all dependent on finding ways we can live through this pandemic and suppress the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.
- - -
Q: What if I choose not to wear a mask?
A: The wearing of face masks remains a personal choice. However, access to certain businesses will be restricted for those who choose not to wear a face covering, based on ADH directives and each individual establishment’s mandates.
Arkansas Department of Health directives and guidances are available at https://healthy.arkansas.gov.
To view the recently passed ordinance, visit https://www.cityhs.net/O6338.