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First day of face covering requirement in Duluth

Updated: July 14, 2020 06:34 PM

The sewing machine and serger are pretty busy at West Duluth Sewing and Design. Jeaneth and Harold Deterling are busy making masks these days.

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This all started with a nursing home that wanted some. Now they have a wall of different colors to choose from, plus many sports themed. "You can also bring in your own fabric," Jeaneth told us.

She appreciates the support from people who buy them from her. "I live here, and spread my money around here, so if people buy a mask from me, it can be a circle in the community."

More people may be in need of a mask, now that the Duluth City Council passed an ordinance requiring face coverings in most indoor public spaces.

That includes retail stores, churches, the skywalk, government buildings, and DTA buses. Children under 10 are exempt.

Super One started their requirement on Tuesday in many of their locations, and if you don't have one, you can buy one for $1 at the service desk.

Other places have disposable ones at their entrances. 

The ordinance doesn't say it has to be a mask, just a face covering. It could be a face shield, N95 respirator, neck gaiter, buff, or even a bandana. It needs to cover the mouth and nose, fit snugly against the side of the face, and be secured on your face.

The owner of Blue Heron, Jane Jenkins, has been requiring masks at her store for awhile now. She's even been giving some away. She's grateful to the city council for making it mandatory. "I'm happy about it. I think it's smart, and it makes sense. It's what the science is telling us."

Not everyone is happy about the ordinance. Here are some of the emails sent to the city council:

Steve wrote: "All a mask does for me is make you feel good.  You have no right to impose such a thing, nor is there any way to enforce it."  

John said: "I will not shop at any business that requires their customers wear a mask. I will be shopping in Superior until this is reversed."

Jessica added: "It was so very predictable that this town would pass this ridiculous order."

Carolyn wrote: "I have always worn a mask, but this decision has made me decide that I will wear one no longer- there is a large group of people organizing to directly oppose this."

As for enforcement, Duluth Police said they don't expect many problems about this. They will be using conversations and education first. But if someone refuses to wear a mask or leave a public space, then they could face a citation.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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