Bryant Mayor Allen Scott has released a statement regarding the use of masks throughout the city in response to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s executive order giving municipalities the ability to issue mask-related ordinances.
The model ordinance that was jointly put forth by the governor and the Arkansas Municipal League states:
“Law enforcement, acting in such a support capacity, shall educate and encourage members of the public who decline to wear facial coverings regarding the efficacy of wearing such coverings according to the ADH guidance on facial coverings released on June 19, 2020. Law enforcement may additionally act in a support capacity to local businesses by educating individuals who decline to comply with the facial covering requirement of any local business that the individual must abide by that requirement or leave the premises.”
In a social media post, Scott said the model allows the police to operate in a support capacity when it comes to business patrons wearing masks, but it does not allow them to force patrons to wear masks. Their scope allows an officer to trespass a person who refuses to comply with the ordinance from the business where the incident occurred.
“Simply put, this ordinance does not add any power or influence that is not already in place for our business owners or police department,” Scott said. “So, instead, we will continue to empower our businesses to require the public to follow the state mandate regarding wearing masks and will support any additional requirements they feel they may have to put into place for the safeguarding of their patrons and staff.
Scott added that the wearing of masks will not prevent people from getting COVD-19, but they can help lessen the person-to-person spread if you are infected. He also said that reduction is even more signification if both the infected and non-infected are wearing masks.
“I feel everyone has a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable population during this crisis,” Scott said “If this means wearing a mask when there is a chance you cannot adequately social distance, then that is a small price to pay. I wear a mask into any of the businesses where one is required. I also wear a mask in businesses that do not require them. I do not do this to protect myself. I do it to protect others. Until more research is completed regarding asymptomatic spread, we should all act as if we could be carrying the virus.”
Scott ended his statement saying that while many who are infected with COVID-19 do recover, it did not lessen his concern about those who get it and don’t recover or who may wind up with long-term secondary problems associated with the virus.
“So, let’s all do our part to slow and lessen the spread of this disease,” Scott said, ending his statement with #MaskUpBryant.