Don’t want to wear a mask? (update: DON’T) Come to Benicia!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: See Benicia City Council adopts mandatory face mask order, June 17, 2020

Want to open your business to customers without masks?  Good thing your store is here in Benicia!

By Roger Straw, May 28, 2020

As COVID-19 deaths topped 100,000 in the US, and on the same day that our sister city Vallejo ratified an emergency order requiring the mandatory wearing of face coverings in enclosed public spaces, Benicia’s City Council, after 4 ½ hours of contemplation,  decided to leave it up to you.

Gee, that’s nice.

Well, hold on a minute – the City RECOMMENDS that masks be worn in enclosed spaces.  And officially, we abide by the Solano County guidelines, that STRONGLY recommend face coverings.

But for now there’s no order, no mandate, no requirement – wear one or don’t!  And if the store you want to shop at requires face coverings, sniff around – you can probably get by without a mask at some other store here in good ol’ business-friendly Benicia.

Business owners can decide for themselves whether to require masks.

Oh but not so fast, business owners: Prepare to be “educated” into requiring masks in your facility.  As Vice Mayor Christina Strawbridge said at the Council meeting: “I believe the City’s attempt to educate rather than legislate will be the best solution.”

Um, what’s wrong with educate AND legislate??  Seems a good way to get more compliance.

As for me, for now I think I’ll shop in Vallejo.

Here’s the Benicia City Council on May 26, hearing from a bazillion residents begging for a mandatory face covering order and deciding to do, well, basically nothing.  (Warning – 4 ½ hours long!)