The Mayor of the City of East Lansing is hoping for the support of the city council later today. At stake is his newly released order that requires everyone within the city’s primary business district, whether indoors or out, to wear a face mask. The Mayor’s COVID-19 virus Order was announced late last week. It went into effect yesterday. It may be the strictest virus-related order impacting state residents other than those imposed by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. And Michigan State University.  MSU is also imposing a full time anywhere mask order at its East Lansing campus.

East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens says his Order and city-wide State of Emergency declaration are fully supported by the Executive Orders of Governor Whitmer. Stephens says his mask order is being imposed now as students begin returning to East Lansing and Michigan State University. Stephens says, “COVID-19 is far from over and we, as a community, need to be doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our fellow community members from the virus that causes it.” The Mayor’s Order can only remain in effect for 7 days. But it can be extended with a supportive vote from the City Council. That could happen later today as the council holds a virtual meeting to review that and some other city business.  No doubt the virus mask order will get the most attention.

East Lansing is ready to install signs around its business district informing residents and visitors of the requirement. The city is working to establish a virus mask ambassador program. It will consist of roving individuals on the lookout for people who are not wearing masks. They’ll be tasked with offering some guidance about the new order and the $25 penalty that can be issued for failure to comply. There are some exceptions to the order including for people seated at restaurant tables and eating, or while exercising. Kids under the age of 5 are also exempt.

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