Goleta City Council Approves Resolution Requiring Employees and Patrons at All Essential Businesses to Wear Face Coverings

COVID-19 Update

Goleta City Council Approves Resolution Requiring Employees and Patrons at All Essential Businesses to Wear Face Coverings

The Goleta City Council took action on a number of items at last night’s May 5, 2020 Virtual City Council meeting.  The council unanimously approved a resolution requiring both employees and patrons at all essential businesses, and any other businesses that are allowed to be reopened in the City of Goleta, to wear face coverings. Face coverings include any fabric coverings, such as cloth masks, scarves and bandanas that cover the nose and mouth. This resolution is effective immediately.

City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said, “Wearing a face covering is one of the key steps necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The relatively minor sacrifice is worth it if it saves lives and accelerates our economic recovery.”

The resolution requires essential businesses to prohibit the entry of any person not wearing a face covering and encourages businesses to sell face covers to patrons who do not have one. Workers are required to wash or sanitize their reusable face covering at least once a day and to discard any single use face coverings in a trash receptacle. All essential businesses must provide the face coverings for their workers and ensure access to clean, sanitary restrooms and the necessary cleansing products to observe hand sanitation as recommended and required by Santa Barbara County Health Orders. The City will utilize public education efforts to obtain voluntary compliance. The intent of this resolution is not to be punitive but to serve as a protective measure for workers, patrons, and the larger community. Essential businesses that do not adhere to this resolution after the City has tried to work with them may be subject to immediate business license suspension and mandatory closure for the duration of the resolution.  To learn more about the resolution please go to the full staff report here: https://tinyurl.com/y7jyq6fm.

This requirement for a face cover is applicable to all essential businesses and businesses that are allowed to be open in the future. A current list can be found in Public Health Officer Order 2020-8 (https://tinyurl.com/ydcjq6tn), but this is subject to change.

The City Council also ratified an emergency order implementing construction safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The order includes measures requiring handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer at entrances to construction projects, regularly sanitizing shared tools and equipment and posted signage at entrances to construction projects or common areas where work is occurring. Face coverings are required to be worn by all persons present at the construction site.  Also, workers are not authorized to gather in groups larger than three during breaks and must maintain a six-foot distance. Interactions when picking up or delivering equipment or materials also must allow for social distancing requirements.

The City Council also discussed the possibility of placing a 1% sales tax increase on the November ballot. The concept was introduced and researched prior to the COVID-19 crisis.  The City Council deferred making a decision on whether to move forward with a sales tax measure, and instead voted to move forward with additional public opinion polling in order to gather more information about the community’s sentiment toward such a measure.

Face Coverings Required

May 5, 2020, Virtual Council Meeting

Photo from May 5, 2020, Virtual Goleta City Council Meeting