Sioux Falls city council votes to allow mask mandate to expire

City Council votes to not extend mask mandate
City Council votes to not extend mask mandate(Dakota News Now)
Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 12:01 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sioux Falls city councilors were tasked Tuesday night with the decision on whether or not to extend the citywide mask mandate for another two weeks.

The majority of the public who spoke at the “public input” section of the meeting was against extending the mask mandate.

After nearly three hours of discussion and public input with emotions running high, it was ultimately Mayor Paul TenHaken who cast the deciding vote.

Council members voted in a 4-4 tie. TenHaken then voted against extended the mask mandate.

Before making his decision, the mayor asked forgiveness from councilman Rick Kiley, saying he would vote differently than how they previously discussed, and then went into his reasoning for not extending the mandate.

“The rate at which we’re going through the vaccination schedule right now extending this ordinance puts a mask mandate in place for two more weeks, but I think the ancillary damage of that two additional weeks, just based on the temperature I’m seeing here tonight could be worse,” said TenHaken.

The mask mandate in Sioux Falls will officially expire on Saturday, March 13. TenHaken is still encouraging people in the city to be safe and do what they can to prevent the spread of the COVID -19 virus.

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