According to News Center Maine, the city council in Sanford passed an emergency ordinance Thursday night requiring everyone in the town to wear a face mask in public or face a $100.00 fine for failure to comply.

The city council voted unanimously 7-0 to put the ordinance in place citing that it was both a difficult but necessary decision. Recently, there have been up to four outbreaks that have occurred in the Sanford area, making it a hub for community spread according to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah. The ordinance will enforce the wearing of masks in all public settings where social distancing is not possible. This includes, but is not limited to, stores, restaurants, bars, tasting rooms and lodging operations regardless of their size.

The Sanford Police Department is to begin enforcing the ordinance as of Friday, September 11th, 2020. City officials say that a first offense of failure to comply with the ordinance will result in a warning and a subsequent offence will result in a minimum $100.00 fine. Sanford mayor Tom Cote said, “It’s an important decision, but it was a difficult decision. Let’s hope we can change the direction of this virus, for the sake of our kids.”

The ordinance, which was passed last night, is set to expire in 90 days, though if the city sees fit, it can be extended further. Currently, Governor Janet Mills state-wide order enforces face coverings at restaurants, retailers and lodging operations that are over 50,000 square feet in size. The ordinance in Sanford is different than this because it doesn't matter the size of the business- all must comply or face financial penalties.

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