Q: Are business owners required to enforce the mask mandate?
A: No, business owners are not required to enforce the mask mandate. Individuals (i.e customers/clients) are responsible to follow the rules set forth in the mask mandate; however, business owners are encouraged to take the Brookings Stay Safe Pledge and reserve the right to refuse service to a non-compliant individual if they choose. Business owners are responsible for making sure that their employees as well as themselves are compliant. If there is an issue, the business may call the Brookings Police Department non-emergency line at 605-692-2113.
Q: What if a customer refuses to wear a mask?
A: If there is an issue, businesses can call the Brookings Police Department non-emergency line to report non-compliance. Customers who have medical requirements that do not allow them to wear masks can simply state so and no verification should be required. If there appears to be unwarranted use of this exemption, the City will likely review, but we hope people will be honest in use of this exemption. Businesses can reserve the right to refuse service. If social distancing is available and observed by everyone, the business may choose to recognize this circumstance and masks are not required in this instance.
Q: Do I have to provide masks to customers?
A: Businesses are not required to provide masks for customers, but it is encouraged. Individuals are responsible for acquiring and providing their own face covering. The City of Brookings has face coverings available for residents who do not have one.
Q: Do I have to post signage stating that masks are required?
A: Businesses are not required to post signage stating that masks are required, however, it is encouraged. The City of Brookings has printable signs available at the following web address:
Q: If I have an employee that tests positive, do I have to put a notice out to consumers/clients/patrons?
A: State Department of Health is responsible for contact tracing and making notifications.
Q: What does it look like if I get “caught” not following the ordinance?
A: The goal of the ordinance is to provide safety and wellbeing for all community members through clear communication and education. Individuals who are not following the ordinance may face a fine for non-compliance.
Q: How do I report people I know are not following the ordinance?
A: A business can establish more restrictive or similar provisions as the mask mandate for its customers, and require customers to comply. It is important to remember that the refusal to wear a mask is not a situation where a confrontation is warranted. Rather, a business owner and a customer can agree to disagree as to the mask requirements, but the customer can be asked to respect the business owner’s mask policies for the protection of the owner, employees, and other customers. If that communication is not effective, then a business owner may call the Brookings Police Department non-emergency line at 605-692-2113.
Q: If I maintain 6’ between my coworkers and myself, do we have to wear masks?
A: If social distancing of 6’ or more is being practiced in an indoor space (or waiting in line to enter an indoor space), masks are not required. The wearing of face coverings is, however, highly encouraged.
Q: Is the mandate enforceable at private events within a business or after hours
A: Buildings or businesses that are zoned commercial or considered a commercial space must adhere to the mandate at all times.
Q: Are masks required for outdoor events/activities like kids’ birthday parties, baseball games, park gatherings, etc.?
A: No. For outdoor events (that do not require a permit by the city), masks are not required, but they are encouraged.
Q: Are masks required outdoors (for instance walking down the street, visiting a park, etc.)?
A: Individuals are not required to wear masks outside, but masks are encouraged, especially if social distancing of six feet is not possible.
Q: Where can a view the ordinance?
Q: Are there any exclusions defined in the ordinance or resolution?
A: Yes. Please see below.
The following are exceptions to the Ordinance 20-010 (Revised) mask mandate:
- Children age five and under
- Persons with medical conditions
- Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing or individuals when communicating with such an individual
- People receiving medical treatment for their nose or face
- Persons eating or drinking at an establishment. (Note: at restaurants, patrons will enter, be seated, and order while wearing masks. Once the food or drinks are received masks can be taken off.
- Recreational programming that has an established protocol for COVID-19
- Schools and universities that have an established COVID-19 plan
- People engaged in church and religious places of worship that have protections in place