Rochester City Council Cancels Mayor’s Mask Mandate
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - An emergency declaration issued by Mayor Kim Norton on Tuesday is no longer in effect.
The Rochester City Council, meeting this afternoon in an emergency session, voted 5-2 to rescind the Mayor's order, which enacted a mandate for face masks in nearly all indoor public places by requiring face coverings in locations where children under the age of 12 or medically vulnerable people are expected to be present. Some members of the City Council questioned whether the current situation involving the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the community constitutes an actual emergency and some also questioned whether the mayor's order, as it is written, was good policy.
When it was clear there were not enough votes to support the emergency order, Mayor Norton urged the Council to allow it to expire tomorrow morning to allow more time to rework the mask mandate in a way that a majority of the Council could support. Instead, the Council voted to approve a resolution very similar to Mayor Norton's emergency order but replaced the mask mandate with a strong recommendation to get vaccinated and follow the CDC's guidance to wear masks in public indoor settings regardless of a person's vaccination status. It was approved unanimously.
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