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Sioux Falls City Council to revisit mask mandate Tuesday

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:09 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - In just under two weeks, the current mask mandate is set to expire and Sioux Falls City Council members are preparing to make yet another big decision. To extend the mandate or not.

After going into effect November 21st, the mask mandate was extended in late December by a vote of 6-2. One councilor against the mandate is Greg Neitzert, “I think people want to follow the law so most people have worn masks and very few people have defied that, I think it’s created division of course just as this all has,” he said.

However, Councilor Pat Starr voted for the mandate and says right now is a crucial time to continue wearing them, “I think it’s gone really well and I think we’ve seen it. I think there are some places where we haven’t done as good of a job, but now we’ve worked really hard to get the numbers to come down and what we’re hearing from the CDC even today is that we’re kind of at a plateau that’s not at a really good spot,” Starr said.

Starr adds the new extension would mandate masks until Group 1D is fully vaccinated.

“I would hope that we just trust people to make their own choices when it comes to their health and that we would lift the mandate. The numbers starting dropping before the mandate went into effect and before we voted on it,” Neitzert added.

Data from the Sioux Falls’ COVID dashboard shows daily cases peaked in early November, then declined slightly, before beginning a steep, months-long decline in late November.

“We’ve been able to free up the hospital beds, we’ve been able to see the numbers come down let’s not lift it too early,” said Starr.

“People are so set in their positions on this that it’s difficult for me to believe that we’re really changing minds anymore,” said Neitzert.

The mask mandate’s first reading in front of city council is set for Tuesday night at Carnegie Town Hall.

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