Employees and members of the public will be required to wear face masks in Brookhaven City Hall and other municipal buildings as a coronavirus pandemic precaution after a June 1 reopening.

The City Council on May 26 approved ordinance requiring that “cloth face coverings” be worn in any public city building. Police would have the authority to remove anyone who did not comply. The city would take “reasonable steps” to provide masks to people who show up without one for city business “that must be done in person,” the ordinance says.

The ordinance takes effect June 1, the same day that City Hall is scheduled to begin a phased reopening. The mask-wearing requirement will continue until repealed by the council.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities say that wearing face masks in public can reduce the risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus and its COVID-19 disease.

Brookhaven City Hall has been shuttered since March 14, when it abruptly closed after an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19, sending most of its leaders, as well as a Reporter journalist, into self-quarantine.

–Erin Schilling contributed

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.