Daphne votes to require masks in city buildings


DAPHNE – Visitors to Daphne city buildings must wear a face mask following a vote by the Daphne City Council.

The council voted 6-1 on Monday, July 6, to require anyone coming into any building owned and operated by the city to wear a mask or face covering over their nose and mouth. Councilman Doug Goodlin voted against the motion.

The mask requirement went into effect immediately.

Councilman Ron Scott said city officials need to show they are taking steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s almost impossible to actually enforce these types of ordinances, but I do think it’s important that cities make statements to the importance of them, that we are trying to set a good example,” Scott said.

The original motion imposed the mask restriction only at Daphne City Hall. Scott proposed amending the motion to include other city buildings.

“For us to require this in one building of the city would indicate that we put more value on the lives of the people in City Hall than we do our employees at the Civic Center, the Justice Center, the Library, etc.,” Scott said.

The requirement would not cover participants in events in municipal buildings where city employees are not present, such as church services or weddings at the Daphne Civic Center.

The mask requirement also cannot cover elections taking place at polling stations in Daphne municipal buildings. City Clerk Candance Antinarella said. She said state and federal election rules do not allow a voter to be turned away if she or he refuses to wear a mask.

She said masks will be provided for poll workers and any voter who wants one.

“I’m taking as many precautions as I can on the municipal election side, but again, we cannot require the voters, we can just suggest it,” Antinarella said.

Spanish Fort City Council members are scheduled to discuss a mask requirement or other COVID-19 precautions at their next meeting on July 20. At the July 6 meeting in Spanish Fort, Councilman J.R. Smith asked that the matter be discussed at the upcoming meeting.

“I would like to discuss the pros and cons of it,” Smith said.

Spanish Fort officials now require anyone entering City Hall to have his or her temperature taken before being allowed into the building.