Is Rapid City getting closer to a mask mandate? People express how they feel about the issue

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 6:23 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The proposed mask mandate here in Rapid City was approved by the City Council, but it’s not official yet.

There will be a second reading at the council in the near future, and that’s when the final decision will be made.

Masks aren’t only a hot accessory; they’re also a hot topic, especially right now in Rapid City.

Ward 5 Councilwoman Darla Drew fully supports the mask mandate and says everyone has to do their part.

“And if that includes wearing a mask in stores, that’s going to be what is it. And it’s going to be wearing a mask in a church until you have communion. That’s the way it’s going to be. So that’s what I really want to see. You know, if it doesn’t work in four weeks, we will pull it back. We will say okay, we don’t need this anymore. But if something helps, it’s worth a shot,” says Drew.

Jason Salamun, who represents Ward 3, says people should wear a mask by choice and not be forced.

“I really felt that the council had an opportunity. That we can have all ten members unite on one message. And that is the pandemic is real. We should take it seriously. We should take precautions, including the three Ws that I mentioned. And that unanimously while we had the entries city’s attention get the message out. Wash your hands, watch your distance, and of course, wear a mask when it’s appropriate. That opportunity to send that message right now, I think, could have been very helpful in a time when we’re deeply divided,” says Salamun.

Rapid City resident John Sayles says he wears a mask on certain occasions, but he doesn’t want to be forced.

“I don’t want to be told from the City Council on what to do and what to wear. I will not be wearing a mask. If I choose to go into Buffalo Wild Wings, let’s say and have lunch, and they’re going to tell me I have to wear a mask, no. If the business requires it, that’s a different story,” says Sayles.

Others would be happy to see a mandate.

“Because it’s going to maybe keep some of us from getting the COVID. And we’re older. I’m 80 plus, and I just feel that it will help,” says Jackie Hollis.

Once again, before the mandate is put into effect, it needs to go for a second reading. At this time, there is no date scheduled.

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