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Mask mandate receives mix of praise, criticism among Minot community

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 7:52 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – The Minot City Council voted Monday night to implement a mask mandate for the city.

According to the city the mandate is effective immediately, and it will remain so until the current state of emergency ends.

It passed with a 5 to 2 vote, and like the council Minot residents have differing opinions.

Some Minot residents are applauding the City Council for implementing the mask requirement.

“It is a very noble effort to put forth this mask mandate now. We’re in a pandemic. We’re in the epicenter of it. People are dying,” said Robert Kibler, a resident in favor of the mandate.

Others said the move wasn’t necessary.

“Why make them more fearful of something, when you compare it with statistics it’s nothing more than your typical cold or flu?” said Landon Bahl, a resident against the mandate.

The policy passed within hours of Fargo passing a similar ordinance and has similar language that emphasizes that while "these measures are being mandated with the strongest possible recommendation, there is no penalty for non-compliance with this mandate. "

Mayor Shaun Sipma said the police will not play a role in enforcing the policy unless it becomes a trespassing issue.

“Someone is in a place of business that requires a mask and they refuse they can ask them to leave and if they don’t then the police officers are then responding,” said Sipma.

Residents on the fence about the policy said making it a strong recommendation is a good way to start.

“It gives people the opportunity to play ball. It doesn’t bring the law enforcement into it our law enforcement got better things to do then chase after people not wearing masks,” said Carl Clemetson, local business owner.

The mandate comes after long-term care facilities and hospitals report being short-staffed due to wide community spread of the coronavirus.

The council also passed a motion to require people to wear masks when entering any city buildings such as City Hall through the middle of next month, so if you plan on paying your water bill or attending a meeting be sure to bring your mask. That also includes the Minot City Auditorium, Minot Public Works, and Minot International Airport.

The official mandate signed by Sipma can be found here: https://www.minotnd.org/DocumentCenter/View/5705/Mayoral-Mask-Mandate

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