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City of Superior adopts mask resolution

Ryan Juntti
Updated: July 21, 2020 11:15 PM

The Superior City Council on Tuesday night voted to adopt a mask resolution that requires masks be worn in most indoor public places, including public transportation.   

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The council also amended the resolution to say that all employees working in public areas, or handling food or beverages must wear a mask. This is in addition to customers who are required to wear a mask, except for when actively eating or drinking. 

The council voted by a 9-1 margin to approve the resolution, with councilor Keith Kern opposed. 

Even though it passed, it was a divided issue among councilors and community members.

Superior resident Waylon J, who is in favor of the resolution says he feels it is necessary that there be a mask requirement for the health and safety of everyone.

"I know that we like to have a say in what we do with our bodies, and with our freedom, but when it’s something as serious as a global pandemic, we all need to come together, and this is not a bipartisan issue, this should be something that we all just come together and really work on," Waylon said.

Kern being a business owner expressed concerns about how his employees are going to have to enforce the resolution. He wants to make clear he isn't against wearing masks, but says mandating them with the way the resolution is written creates a lot of confusion.

“We’re all trying to get through this together. We’re all trying to stay afloat, but not having a clear definition of what this resolution is trying to say, and then going, and putting it into fact without taking any businesses owners' consideration, or even public input on it, other than what was talked about today or the emails that we got, I would’ve liked to seen this bring some business leaders together to have this discussion," he added. 

There are several exemptions to mask use including:

  • Government facilities not operated or controlled by the City of Superior.
  • Medical or personal care services that require access to the face or mouth
  • Children 5 years of age or younger
  • Individuals actively eating or drinking (People in restaurants and taverns would still be required to wear a face covering when they are not actively eating or drinking.)
  • Individuals temporarily removing their face covering for identification purposes
  • Individuals unable to wear a face covering due to legitimate medical, disability, developmental, or psychological reasons.
  • Individuals speaking to an audience, in person or through broadcast, as long as the speaker remains six feet or more from other individuals
  • Individuals speaking to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • Participants in a sports or performance event, during a period of practice, performance, or competition

The council also added to the list of exemptions to include anyone attending a "religious activity" such as a church service and institutions of higher education.

Anyone who violates the mask ordinance wouldn't be criminally prosecuted, but businesses and organizations would have to ask anyone to leave. People who fail to comply with the resolution could be cited for trespassing.

If businesses don't enforce the resolution, they could face denial, revocation, or rejection of licenses, grants, awards, or other incentives for up to one year from the expiration of the resolution.

The resolution will go into effect on Monday, July 27 and last until September 25 or until the city's state of emergency expires.

The Cloquet City Council also passed a mask ordinance Tuesday night, and Duluth has had one in effect since July 13.

Credits

Ryan Juntti

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

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