Brookings city council pass resolution recommending mask be worn inside

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 10:57 PM CDT
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Brookings City Council met Tuesday night to discuss an emergency resolution to recommend masks be worn inside, when social distancing is not possible, along with other COVID safety precautions.

The resolution was passed by a vote of 5-2. Members of the council say this is not a mandate, and hope this helps prevent the need for another mandate in the future.

South Dakota is currently leading the nation with an increased growth rate of the virus, and Brookings council members who proposed this resolution hope this can help stop the spread of the virus.

“None of us wanted to be revisiting this idea of COVID-related recommendations for the community, but we have seen a surge in the delta variant in our community and we’ve seen a surge of positive cases,” said Nick Wendell, Brookings Deputy Mayor and city council member. “We felt that it was important at the very least to consider a resolution, so we had a conversation and a public meeting about the types of actions members of our community could take to keep themselves and their neighbors.”

The city’s recommendations for slowing down the spread of COVID-19 follow guidelines released by the CDC.

The Brookings mayor Oepke Niemeyer said now is the time to do something, before things get worse.

“We are kind of educating the community that we’re getting concerned, or epidemiologist in our area that we rely on, is not showing us a very good path right now if we keep going down where we’re going four to six weeks from now, we could have a full-blown situation and I don’t want to have to deal with that.”

The resolution does not have an end date planned and will be in effect until it is amended or repealed.

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