EAST LANSING, Mich. — Ahead of the return to campus and the increased population downtown, East Lansing declared a state of emergency, announcing masks will be required within outdoor public spaces in the Downtown Development Area effective Monday, August 10th.
“This order has been issued in anticipation of the increased foot traffic that is expected in downtown East Lansing with the return of MSU students this month,” said East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens. “COVID-19 is far from over and we, as a community, need to be doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our fellow community members from the virus that causes it.”
East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas says the decision was made in response to MSU requiring masks in all outdoor and indoor areas on campus. Signs are being posted around the Downtown Development Area and and ambassador program will soon be in place to encourage social distancing and mask wearing.
Exceptions to the mask rule include children under 5, anyone exercising, while seated at a restaurant to eat or drink, at a polling place for identification purposes, and those who cannot medically tolerate a mask. A map of the DDA can be found here.
Anyone caught without a masks may be subject to a $25 fine, according to East Lansing PD. The declaration of a City-wide state of emergency allows the mayor to issue regulations in public spaces in order to protect property and life. This state of emergency is only in effect for 7 days, at which time the city's Council will have the opportunity to end the order or extend it. East Lansing City Council will hold a special virtual session on August 11th to consider potential extension or amendments to the order.