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Sioux Falls reacts to mask mandate

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 6:53 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - On Tuesday night, the Sioux Falls City Council voted 6-2 to enact a city-wide mask mandate. It requires masks to be worn in all indoor buildings where social distancing is not possible.

“It does feel very good to see the city actually wanting to have a mask mandate instead of just maybe recommending,” said Katie Beauchman of Sioux Falls.

“We’ve worn our mask I’ve got mine with me, we’re outside so I’m not wearing one right now, but it’s just kind of a common-sense deal,” Chuck Jepson added.

Jepson of Sioux Falls says he wears a mask because the science says it works but respects others’ choices around the state.

“We just don’t know with this thing. Where it’s going, what’s happening? You hear so many things with the science and if a mask doesn’t help, but maybe it makes you feel better and maybe it does work I don’t know. I think a wise choice personally is to wear a mask but if you don’t want to wear one, I love living in where we have that freedom,” Jepson said.

Alex Jensen was one of two councilmembers who switched their vote from no-to yes over the last week and says it was to assist healthcare workers.

“It’s a 50/50 issue. There are half the people on one side there are half the people on the other. It’s not a power grab, what it is is we have to help each other out here,” Jensen said.

Mask debate aside, people just want to get through the pandemic and say unity is the way out.

Beauchman said, “It’s not about politics it’s more where my rights and my freedom end is where your rights and freedom begin. I think we need to rise above that as a community and come together.”

“I think what we need to focus on is working together, staying together as a community, protecting our health and get over this thing and move ahead,” said Jensen.

The mask mandate will go into effect on Saturday and will be in place for 60 days. There are some exemptions, those can be found here.

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