Sioux Falls City Council passes mask mandate
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Sioux Falls City Councilors have passed a mask mandate. The vote was 6 to 2. Greg Neitzert and Christine Erickson voted against it.
At Tuesday night’s city council meeting on Nov. 17th counsilors reconsidered a mask mandate that was originally voted down a week earlier. Councilors Marshall Selberg and Alex Jensen changed their votes citing the pleas from the medical community as one reason.
“They talk about how they’re stretched way too thin, they are at the end of their rope. Their belief that this can be a huge help to their effort and that it’s certainly worth the effort and they have been sharing their expertise and their studies that back their argument,” said Councilor Selberg.
Two amendments to the mandate, one adding a deadline and the other removing any penalty also helped decide their vote.
The mandate requires masks to be worn indoors if six feet of social distancing is not possible. There is no penalty for failing to comply. And businesses have no obligation to enforce the mandate.
There are some exemptions to wearing a mask including:
- An individual under the age of five (5) years old
- An individual seated at a public place to eat or drink, or while immediately consuming food or beverages;
- An individual who is receiving dental or medical care that prevents them from wearing a face covering
- An individual with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering.
- Individuals who are engaged in swimming or a team sports activity where the level of exertion makes it difficult to wear a face covering.
- Public safety workers actively engaged in a public safety role. including but not limited to law enforcement personnel, fire fighters, or emergency medical personnel, in situations where wearing a face covering would seriously interfere in the performance of the individual’s public safety responsibilities.
- Any member of a group of persons who are in an indoor retail business together and live in the same household or are a party of ten or less, so long as the group maintains a continuous physical distance of at least six feet from all other persons not part of the household or party.
The mask mandate goes into effect immediately upon publication and will last 60 days.
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