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Alexandria face covering mandate passed, starts in October

The legislation will go into effect on October 1 at midnight.
Credit: AP
A visitor wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 passes a sign requiring masks, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared masks or face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state as local officials across the state say their hospitals are becoming increasingly stretched and are in danger of becoming overrun as cases of the coronavirus surge. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Alexandria officials passed legislation that mandates face coverings in certain public indoor and outdoor locations to help combat the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

The legislation will go into effect on October 1 at 12 a.m. after it was passed during a city council meeting on Saturday.

If the ordinance is not followed by those in the city and community, the city manager will request compliance and work with the person to obtain voluntary compliance including the provision of a covering with no cost to the person, according to official documents on the ordinance. 

"This ordinance is authorized by Charter Section 2.04 “to make and enforce all regulations necessary to preserve and promote public health and sanitation and protect the inhabitants of the city from contagious, infectious or other diseases,” says the documents from the city provide to WUSA9. "Section 15.2-1102 of the State Code generally and Section 2.01 of the City Charter grants the authority for a City to exercise all powers, not expressly prohibited by the state code or the constitution, that are necessary “to promote the general welfare of the city and the safety, health, peace, good order, comfort, convenience and morals of its inhabitants.”

The ordinance would require a face covering that can be removed in certain situations, which include religious services. Eating and physical activity are also on the list.

Northern Virginia has had even more stricture requirements and slower phased reopening in the state due to its proximity to Washington, DC. The same thing has been seen in southern Maryland, where Prince Geroge's County and Montgomery County have phased in reopening slower than the rest of the state. 

Credit: AP
A visitor wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 passes a sign requiring masks, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared masks or face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state as local officials across the state say their hospitals are becoming increasingly stretched and are in danger of becoming overrun as cases of the coronavirus surge. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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