Mayor Tim Mahoney will not extend mask mandate after February 18th
Fargo Cass Public Health officials seek to change his mind.
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – After four months, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney says an executive order requiring masks to be worn in public will expire on Thursday Feb. 18.
Officials with Fargo Cass Public Health are hoping to change the Mayors mind and want the mask mandate extended.
“If that mandate does go away it still has to be really strong messages that masks are still going to be needed, we’re hopeful that they would do mask requirements in all city buildings I think it would be a good message to encourage local businesses to continue their internal policies on masking,” Fargo Cass Public Health Director Desi Fleming said.
Evidence suggests mask requirements work, says one member from the board.
“We implemented our mask mandate in November and then we went through all of these holidays and we continued to see a decline which might not be related to masks but I have to say there has to be a correlation there. I’d like to see us keep with it until the end of school unless we reach some sort of vaccination goal before then,” Fargo Cass Public Health Chair Evelyn Telford said.
Other members of the board say numbers need to improve before the city forgoes mask usage.
“We are very far into any kind of herd immunity even if we could get up to 50% that would be wonderful. I think a letter to the mayor probably would be the most appropriate way to do that expressing an opinion of concern about the mandate going away and the recommendation, I think that would be great,” Fargo City Commissioner, Arlette Preston said.
With mask usage, cases dwindling and more people being vaccinated, the city could soon reach a major milestone.
“We’re primarily on our first two tiers of phase 1B which includes the 75 plus and the 65 to 74 with two medical conditions. At times, because of the sheer volume of people that we’re inviting we have to step down through those tiers. We are planning for about 4000 doses to be administered next week and that’s a 10,000 milestone that we should be seeing very early next week,” Fargo Cass Public Health Nursing Director Suzanne Schaefer said.
Mahoney says the city will continue to strongly recommend face coverings until the vaccination rate nears 100 percent.