Fargo City Commission moves to draft a mask mandate

FARGO, N.D. – In a 3-2 vote, the Fargo City Commission allows the city attorney to draft a mask mandate with and without penalties if someone does not wear one.

Commissioners Dave Piepkorn and Tony Gehrig voted against the move. Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney and Commissioners Strand and Arlette Preston voted in favor of it.

“October 19 is the soonest we can enact anything on this timeline. Every single day there are lives in the balance and if we don’t act, we’re not leading,” Strand said.

Strand put forth the proposal that would not bring a fine or charges against someone who doesn’t wear one. Children under 10 and people with certain medical issues would be exempt under the plan.

Strand points to speed limits and blood alcohol content laws calling them similar rules to a mask mandate that keep people safe.

Last month the commission approved a directive strongly encouraging people to wear masks.

“Unless you have some type of enforcement with a mandate which fines somebody or you cause them some type of criminal activity, it’s hard to enforce. I feel the directive is saying what we’re trying to tell you. You need to wear a mask,” Mahoney said.

The public gave opinions on a mask mandate including a woman who says she’s a doctor.

“By implementing this vital public health measure, which masks work scientifically, is vital to slowing the spread and flattening the curve in our county.”

According to the North Dakota Department of Health, Cass County has a 7.7 percent Covid-19 positivity rate and 528 active cases. That’s 453 more than August 16.

Those who disagree with a mandate say people should make their own decisions.

“This is destroying the individual for the for the sake of the collective. Do you know what that sounds like? China. It sounds like Russia. It sounds like other countries.”

“I’m all for keeping people safe, but I’m also for personal responsibility.”

Commissioners will vote on the drafts at an upcoming commission meeting.

Categories: Coronavirus-ND, Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections