Duluth City Council ‘In Full Support’ With Mayor Larson’s Mask Mandate
Even though they passed on reinstating a mask mandate themselves, Duluth City Councilors have come out "in solidarity" with Mayor Emily Larson's order yesterday. A letter from the Council directed to the Mayor was released on Friday, January 14 containing the details.
After lengthy and vigorous debate at their meeting on January 10, the Duluth City Council moved to not reinstate the mask mandate. The measure was pre-constructed with a move on whether or not to declare a state of emergency for the city; that vote needed to be unanimous and failed 7-2, with Councilors Derek Medved and Roz Randorf handing down the opposition votes. Without a state of emergency, any movement on a mask mandate from the council was halted.
As part of the conversation that evening, the councilors suggested that a state of emergency - along with a mask mandate - could come from the mayors office.
That mandate came on Thursday, January 13. That's when Duluth Mayor Emily Larson "signed a declaration of emergency imposing a mask mandate in response to current COVID-19 case levels". The 30-day mandate for all public buildings in Duluth takes effect at 5:00 PM on January 14.
The resulting letter from the Duluth City Council offers their full support of the Mayor's actions:
"As the elected City Councilors of Duluth, we stand in full support of your decision to issue a Proclamation and Declaration of Emergency yesterday instituting a mask mandate in our city for the next 30 days.....Emergency Resolution 72, approved unanimously by the Council on Monday night, specifically endorsed this type of executive action."
The letter - sent by Council President Arik Forsman, but signed "in solidarity" by each of the City Council members - went on to offer words of advice for the community:
"Duluthians, it is time once again to mask up. This time will pass.. We understand the challenges businesses and organizations face in helping enforce the requirements of a new mask mandate. We ask for all Duluthians to give each other grace during this time and direct any frustration regarding this issue toward their elected leaders, like us, and not frontline workers just helping folks follow the rules."
The 30-day mask mandate for Duluth starts at 5:00 PM on Friday, January 14, 2022 and ends at 5:00 PM on Sunday, February 13, 2022.
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