KANKAKEE — Kankakee residents, like every resident throughout the state, are mandated to wear some type of face covering while in public gatherings as related to COVID-19.
The state has had a mask mandate in place since May 1, due to an executive order by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
At Tuesday’s Kankakee City Council meeting, by an 8-7 vote with Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong casting the tie-breaking vote, the city approved an ordinance which is consistent with the state’s social-distancing guidelines.
When casting the tie-breaking vote, Wells-Armstrong noted this is a mandate enforced by the state, not by local officials.
City attorney Mike McGrath said the ordinance goes into effect once it is signed by the mayor and the city clerk. The bulk of the ordinance was drafted by the Illinois Municipal League.
In a follow-up statement Wednesday after much social media discussion regarding the ordinance’s adoption, the city noted it remains consistent with what the state has already been doing regarding social-distancing guidelines.
There had been public discussion Wednesday that people not wearing a mask can be fined $750. The ordinance, however, had no dollar amount attached to it regarding fines. In fact, there is no mention of people being fined.
The enforcement is at the discretion of the municipality. The ordinance will remain in effect until it is repealed by the city council.