COVID-19: University Park Residents Ordered to Wear Masks in Public

Joseph E. Roudez III
Joseph E. Roudez III, Mayor of University Park. (Village of University Park)

University Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- University Park Mayor Joseph Roudez has issued an executive order mandating that all residents over the age of two wear masks in public when unable to maintain social distancing.

After five “whereas” clauses that provide the rationale for the order which includes this sobering line, “to protect the residents of the Village from disease and death,” the order says, “any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.”

The order was signed April 17 and posted on the Village website April 18.

There is no mention in the executive order of any penalty for not wearing a mask. A call to Mayor Roudez at the number on the village website rang in Monee, Illinois. The person who answered said she was the mayor’s liaison and referred eNews Park Forest to the police non-emergency number. That number went directly to a recording and we left a message. Will update this story when police respond.

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the Secretary of HHS declared a public health emergency for the entire United States of America concerning COVID-19, on March 9, 2020, Governor Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation concerning the spread of COVID-19 in Illinois, on March 11, 2020, WHO declared that the spread of COVID-19 is a global pandemic, on March 13, 2020 President Trump declared a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and on March 20, 2020 Governor Pritzker issued an order for all residents of Illinois to “shelter in place”;

WHEREAS, the Village of University Park has declared an emergency and is fully abiding by the State and Federal guidelines and mandates including but not limited to the requirement to “shelter in place”;

WHEREAS, the Illinois Department of Public Health has now confirmed localized community person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in Illinois, significantly increasing the risk of exposure and infection to Illinois’ general public and creating an extreme public health risk in the Village and throughout the State;

WHEREAS, the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health have issued revised guidelines recommending the use of a “mask” when in public; and

WHEREAS, that the Corporate Authorities of the Village of University Park understand that this is a fluid situation ever changing and in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Village, and to protect the residents of the Village from disease and death, it is necessary to implement emergency regulations and orders.

THEREFORE, by the powers vested in the Mayor pursuant to the Village of University Park Code of Ordinances, as amended; Section 11-1-6 of the Illinois Municipal Code, 65 ILCS 5/11-1-6; and Section 11 of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305/11 it is hereby ordered as follows: Effective at 12:00 am. on Monday, April 20, 2020, and until further notice any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.

SIGNED AND SEALED with the official seal of the Village of University Park on this 17th day of April 2020.

University Park Seal

Joseph E. Roudez Ill,
Mayor

The Village website cites the CDC for guidelines on proper face coverings:

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?

Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?

A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?

Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.