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Posted on: October 1, 2020

East Lansing Mayor Extends City State of Emergency and Downtown Mask Order

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Yesterday, East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens signed a new proclamation and order to extend the City State of Emergency and the requirement to wear a mask in all outdoor public spaces within the boundaries of the East Lansing Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

The previous mask order ended on September 30, 2020. The new proclamation and order can be viewed here

Under this new order and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' (MDHHS) Gatherings and Face Mask Order, masks continue to be required at all times in all public spaces in the DDA district, both inside and outdoors (sidewalks, streets, plazas, etc.). To learn about mask requirements in other parts of the community, review MDHHS' Gatherings and Face Order.

“We need to continue to look out for one another during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially now that we are seeing a significant increase in cases in our community,” said East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens. “We are asking community members to continue to be vigilant by wearing a mask and keeping a six-foot distance from others when out in public spaces.” 

Signs have been installed at the entry points of the DDA district as well as throughout the downtown and inside parking garages to notify visitors that masks are required. Additionally, sidewalks throughout the downtown have been chalked with reminders to wear a mask. The City has also implemented a downtown mask ambassador program, which serves to encourage mask-wearing in the downtown during times when there is anticipated high foot traffic.

 Under Ordinance No. 1488, East Lansing’s mayor is empowered to declare a City State of Emergency and issue orders, rules and regulations regarding the use of public property to protect life and property during the declared emergency. Pursuant to Ordinance No. 1488, a violation of this order is a civil infraction punishable by a fine of up to $25. 

While this new, extended order can only be in place for seven days, it can be continued through October 31, 2020 with the consent of Council. It is expected that Council will be considering the order’s continuation at its special, electronic meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6 (UPDATE 10/7/20: Council did approve the continuation of this order through October 31, 2020).

Although a mask is strongly encouraged even for people who are not required to wear one, the requirement to wear a mask in the East Lansing DDA boundary does not apply to individuals who are younger than five years old; those who cannot medically tolerate a mask; those who are eating or drinking while seated at a table/food service establishment; those who are exercising, when wearing a face covering would interfere in the activity; or those who are at a polling location for purposes of voting in an election.

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