Face Coverings

Municipal Regulatory Authority; Temporary Authority to Adopt Rules Requiring Face Coverings

WHEREAS, S.1. is a Bill Introduced in the Vermont Legislature and Passed by Senate and House, during a Special Session, and hereby signed into law by Governor Scott on November 23, 2021, the Selectboard desires to enact and encourage measures as stated “For the purpose of COVID-19 prevention and mitigation,” and

WHEREAS, “The legislative body shall have the authority to adopt a temporary rule requiring individuals to wear face coverings while indoors at locations that are open to the public. A rule adopted pursuant to this section shall not apply to school buildings or school property which shall remain under the authority of the school board”, and

WHEREAS, “The legislative body of a municipality shall adopt a rule authorized by this section at a regular or special meeting of the legislative body warned for that purpose,” and

WHEREAS, “Notwithstanding 24 VSA 1972 and 1973 or any municipal charter provision to the contrary, a rule adopted pursuant to this section shall take effect upon adoption and shall not be subject to a petition for permissive referendum,”

WHEREAS, “A rule adopted pursuant to this section shall remain in effect for not more than 45 days following its initial adoption.  The legislative body of a municipality that adopted a rule pursuant to this section shall meet during the period in which the initial rule is in effect and vote either to rescind the rule or to extend the rule for an additional 30 days.  Thereafter, the legislative body shall meet at a minimum once every 30 days to reconsider the rule, at which meeting the legislative body shall vote either to rescind the rule or to extend the rule for an additional 30-day period.

WHEREAS, “The authority granted by this section shall expire on April 30, 2022, and any municipal face covering rule in effect on that date shall be repealed.”

WHEREAS, Data from the Vermont Department of Health indicates that Wilmington is among the towns with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases in Vermont for the period from November 10, 2021 to November 23, 2021.

WHEREAS, The Vermont Department of Health recommends wearing a face covering in public indoor settings because “a significant number of Vermonters remain unvaccinated and the more transmissible Delta variant is still spreading.”

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Selectboard issues the following municipal rule:

1.      Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.  Starting December 8, 2021, any member of the public entering a Town-owned building or a business located in the Town of Wilmington that will be open to the public must wear a face covering over their mouth and nose that is consistent with the Vermont Department of Health’s guidance on face coverings.

2.      Exceptions.  The Vermont Department of Health advises that face coverings should never be worn by children under the age of two, anyone who has trouble breathing or anyone unable to remove a mask without assistance.

3.      Posting Requirement. Each covered establishment must post signage at the entrance and at other appropriate locations stating that members of the public are required to wear face coverings by order of the Wilmington Selectboard.

Dated at Wilmington, Vermont this 7th day of December, 2021.