Fargo Mayor discusses second COVID-19 shutdown for the city
How implementing measures can help prevent the spread
FARGO, N.D. — As of Monday evening, Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney issued a mask mandate for the city of Fargo.
There is no enforcement.
If Cass County continues to see an increase in cases, that could cause a shutdown.
“The concern is that if we don’t start turning this around and our numbers keep going up it’ll be difficult to keep the businesses going and being open.” Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney said.
According to North Dakota Department of Health, the current rise in positive cases in the state are among people between the ages of 20 and 29.
According to Mayor Mahoney that is the average age of people who visit bars frequently and it raises some concerns.
“We’re very concerned that if those numbers continue to climb the only thing to decrease that is crowd size get your crowd sizes smaller or have the gathering in which people eat or in a bar that those numbers get down as well and that’s what we’re saying that we know the governor every two weeks looks at this and if our numbers don’t improve there is a risk that some businesses will be shut down.”
The mayor is hoping to prevent a second shutdown from happening, but in order to do that he wants to see people following the regulations in place and wishes to see a difference within other cities as well.
“What we’ve encouraged is typically people in our county, and in our city will respond to suggestions on how to take care of it. That’s what I’m looking for and I feel people with the mask mandate it will help. So, I’m seeing other cities doing the same thing and realizing that may add some value.”
The mayor says although there may not be enforcement on the mask mandate you could be faced with consequences for not following the directive.
Examples include someone refusing to leave a business if they’re asked to wear a mask but aren’t.
“You could be charged with trespassing or misconduct or disturbance of the peace, so it’s not really without enforcement, there are some tools that could use enforcement.”
Fargo Police says on social media if someone who is asked to wear a mask says they have COVID-19 and cough, or pretend to cough on someone else, they could violate the city’s disorderly conduct law.
Mayor Mahoney says he wishes to avoid further protocols.
“We very much want to avoid a second shutdown because in the spring it was devastating to many of our businesses and what we’ve had is economic recovery is important for our businesses. We have seen a fair amount of restaurants shut down and not going to open up and we’ve rather not see that happen.”