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PEA RIDGE -- City officials were notified Monday of a proposed "sample ordinance" for the City Council agenda this month by Mayor Jackie Crabtree who said it was prepared by the Arkansas Municipal League.

"The ordinance attached was prepared by the municipal league and after the governor's executive order Friday, we as a city can now enforce wearing masks if you as a council approves it," Crabtree told city officials in an email. "I have had several people ask that we do this and now we legally can.

"This will be on this month's agenda for the council meeting," he wrote.

On July 3 Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued an executive order "pursuant to the public health emergency concerning covid-19."

One section of the ordinance states "the general public wear face coverings in all indoor environments where they are exposed to non-household members and distancing of six (6) feet or more cannot be assured. This includes, but is not limited to, workplaces, retail stores, businesses, places of worship, courtrooms, jails/prisons, schools, health care facilities and other people's homes; and ... in all outdoor settings where there is exposure to non-household members unless there exists ample space of six (6) feet or more to practice physical distancing...."

It further states that "cities may... issue a local ordinance to require the use of face coverings to help curb the spread of covid-19" allowing "local law enforcement and other city officials" to "act in a support capacity to local businesses...."

The wording of the sample ordinance is the same as the executive order. And, further states that "individuals infected with covid-19 are often asymptomatic and may transmit the virus" and "the health of employees and patrons of reopened businesses is directly threatened by individuals who enter such establishments without a facial covering."

It states "upon consultation with the ADH and the Governor's Office, the city of ... requires the usage of facial coverings according to ADH guidance...."

Pea Ridge City Council meets at 7 p.m. July 21, in the courtroom at City Hall. Screening and face masks are required for all in attendance. The meeting is a public meeting.

Annette Beard may be reached at [email protected]

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