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Nevada City Council affirms state order mandating masks

By John Orona Staff Writer

The Nevada City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution affirming the state’s public health order mandating face coverings in public places.

The Tuesday evening special meeting came following comments Mayor Reinette Senum made on her personal Facebook page questioning the legitimacy and efficacy of the public health mandate.

Senum’s comments led to the council to receive more than 100 public comments regarding the council’s position on masks.

At the outset of the meeting, County Health and Human Services Agency Director Ryan Gruver provided a presentation outlining the authority of the order, the medical underpinnings of its justification, and potential exemptions for people unable to wear masks due to health issues.

According to the state guidance document, people are exempted from wearing a mask if they are under 2 years old, have a medical or mental health condition preventing it, are eating at a restaurant or involved in outdoor work or recreation.

The guidance also notes that those exempted from wearing a face covering should instead don a non-restrictive face shield with a drape covering the bottom if their condition permits.

“I don’t think most people know that,” Senum said at the meeting. “I don’t think most employers know that, I don’t think a lot of employees know that, and I think that would take a lot of heat off of this because people just aren’t going to wear masks, they cant.”

The council also received dozens of public comments calling for Senum’s censure or resignation. Those issues, however, will not be taken up at the next council meeting, since new council members Daniela Fernandez and Doug Fleming will be seated and the agenda will be kept light.

The soonest those comments can be addressed will be at the council’s July 22 meeting.

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