Community reacts to face mask requirement

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City considered fines for not wearing face masks

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)– This weekend people throughout the state put on face masks not because they wanted to wear them but because they had to wear them. Governor Pritzker is requiring people to cover their faces when they’re in public. However, not everyone feels this new requirement is fair. Some people think the state should allow each person to make their own choice.

Governor Pritzker’s newest stay-at-home order requires you to wear a mask or face covering when you can’t maintain six feet of social distance. Some people stocked up. “I have a couple in the truck and a couple bandanas,” said Lori Miles of Boody. However, not everyone is so sure that wearing them should be required. “I have mixed feelings about it,” said Miles.

Cities like Decatur considered charging a fine for someone caught without one. The city council considered a rule to require the public to wear facial coverings. “One of the remedies for being in violation of this ordinance was a minimum of a 250 dollar fine,” said David Horn with Decatur City Council.

If approved, those fines could have reached up to 500 dollars, and people had some strong feelings about the penalties. “I don’t agree with it,” said Kevin Millspaugh of Decatur. “Oh, I think that’s crazy,” said Miles. There were so many complaints about the penalty for not wearing a face mask when you leave places where you’re alone and then go out into public spaces they got rid of the agenda item and decided not to discuss it at the next city council meeting. “To me it’s a violation of your rights. You should be able to have a right to say if you want to wear something. If you want to have that choice,” said Millspaugh.

If the controversial idea comes up again, some city officials hope to look for ways to protect the public and provide masks before moving to penalize people. “Key questions cities should be asking is how can we help the citizens,” said Horn.

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