Vallejo City Council to consider order on mandatory face coverings

Vallejo City Council asked to OK requirement that face coverings be worn in all public buildings

The Vallejo City Council will decide on Tuesday whether to ratify an order requiring persons in town to wear a face covering when entering a public building, and outside when unable to be six feet apart. Chris Riley – Times-Herald file photo.

Vallejo Times-Herald, by John Glidden, May 23, 2020

Vallejo leaders will be asked Tuesday to ratify an order requiring the mandatory wearing of face masks when entering any enclosed space open to the public in the city of Vallejo.

The order, requested by the mayor and several other members of the Vallejo City Council, would extend to all persons entering grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, laundromats, dry cleaners, hardware stores, commercial office buildings, tobacco stores, restaurants, bars or pubs, any medical facility, senior care facilities, and any religious building in Vallejo.

The order also extends to all government buildings, police station, marina, and fire stations in the city of Vallejo.

“There is significant evidence that the wearing of face masks, especially in enclosed public places, reduces the risk of transmitting the Novel Coronavirus which causes the disease COVID-19,” city staff wrote in a report to the city council. “However, it is not a guarantee that someone will not contract the virus.”

Vallejo City Manager Greg Nyhoff, serving as the city’s director of emergency services, issued the order which stipulates persons are not required to wear a face mask when outdoors “unless it is not possible to maintain a distance of six feet from every other person.”

“In the event that a person cannot maintain the aforesaid six feet outdoors, then that person shall be required to wear a face mask,” the order states.

The order applies to individuals over the age of 5, and face coverings are not required to anyone “who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance, anyone with a disability or medical condition for whom wearing a face mask is not recommended by their healthcare professional, and/or any other person exempted by any federal, state or local law or regulation.”

It also requires any person entering residential buildings consisting of at least two dwelling units to wear a face mask when in the lobby, hallway, stairwell, elevator, laundry room, garage or any other enclosed areas which are accessible to more than one dwelling.

Staff admitted that enforcement of the order may be problematic.

“Officers who are already spread thinly may receive multiple calls from the public about people who are not wearing masks,” staff added. “This, along with the current level of service calls, may increase work loads and potentially other more important calls.”

Solano County has not issued any order requiring the wearing face masks while out in public.

The emergency order will take effect at midnight on the day it’s signed by Nyhoff.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vallejo City Council will meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday, via teleconference. Those wishing to address the council on the emergency order can submit a comment via