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Mayor Steve Allender encourages businesses to put in a mask mandate

Mayor Steve Allender encourages all businesses to put in a mask mandate.
Mayor Steve Allender encourages all businesses to put in a mask mandate.(Connor Matteson)
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 5:42 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - COVID numbers in South Dakota are climbing. And in response, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender held a media conference Tuesday talking about mask mandates and mental health.

Since the last conference in July, Pennington County cases have jumped from the hundreds to the thousands.

In response to the significant increase, a physician group at Monument Health is urging the city to adopt a face mask policy.

Allender is staying strong against issuing a mandate unless absolutely necessary, saying the community and the city council are divided on the issue.

Even if he wanted to enforce masks, Allender says the city just doesn’t have the resources to enforce it.

“And now you’ve got the government out there in the streets stopping people walking around conducting their business to make sure they have a face covering over their face. I don’t think Rapid City can survive that," says Allender.

Allender is encouraging all businesses to put in a mask mandate but goes on to talk about the community’s mental health.

He says law enforcement is seeing more fights, more assaults, and more confrontations.

Allender says everyone’s tolerance for differing opinions has run thin and people’s personal temper management is becoming more challenging.

“So we’re exhausted as a community and I’m here to tell you that we’re not at the end of this pandemic. Hopefully, we’re halfway through it but this is going to go on for a while and so we’ve got to do some things to help us a little bit to help us live our lives," says Allender.

Allender suggests people limit their time on social media, focus on the positives, and spend some time outdoors.

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.

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