Mask Mandate Coming To Bismarck???
As I was enjoy a weekend at the lake with my family, rumors were flying on social media back home. Bismarck is about to institute a "mask or face covering" mandate. You can only imagine the outrage from both sides of the issue. Pro mask people are wondering why hasn't this already happened. In fact, two top North Dakota doctors say the Bismarck area should mandate masks. They made a plea for this to the Burleigh-Morton COVID-19 Task Forces right before the Labor Day weekend, according to an article in the Grand Forks Herald. Equally vocal are the residents who do NOT want to see a mask mandate in Bismarck or the state.
North Dakota Governor Burgum has opted not to mandate masks statewide like many other governors. Instead saying the state is relying on "personal responsibility" according to the same article. Once again today Burleigh County led the state in new cases of COVID-19.
In a conversation with Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken earlier Tuesday morning, he told me he has NO intention of implementing a mask mandate. It's not a point of discussion in tonight's city commission meeting. He also went on to say, "It's not even on the agenda and people should know the facts rather than just believing what's on social media." Over the weekend, Mayor Steve Bakken had over 70 plus residents reach out to him on city emails and social media, asking him to vote "NO" on a mask mandate. According to Mayor Bakken there is no agenda item or vote on a mask mandate on tonight's city commission meeting at 5:15 pm. You can see that HERE!
Bismarck Burleigh County Commission Chairman Jerry Woodcox said he's committed to opening their next county commission meeting to a public discussion of mandating masks. He along with Morton County commissioner and state Homeland Security director Cody Schulz said they would only consider the move if the cites of Bismarck, Mandan and Lincoln, and Burleigh and Morton Counties could all get on the same page and agree on the measure. Something that seems very unlikely in my opinion.