City council passes resolution to encourage masks

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 9:08 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Not a mandate, but a recommendation Tuesday night from the Eau Claire City Council when it comes to wearing a mask in public.

“Now more than ever we need to be wearing masks and following the rules around protecting each other from COVID-19.” says City Council Member Kate Beaton.

According to the CDC and local health officials, wearing a mask is one of the ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Following that guidance, the Eau Claire City Council unanimously passed a resolution "recommending" and "encouraging" the use of masks when out in the community.

“It’s a resolution just making a request to the community to be really diligent about wearing your masks, especially in the public and in close spaces,” Beaton says.

Beaton and City Council President Terry Weld, co-authored the resolution, saying they've noticed a drop in people wearing masks.

“We’ve all seen as a community, mask compliance dropping as we get further and further into this pandemic,” Beaton says.

“Right now it is an opportunity that we have where we still have a choice and I think it is an opportunity to try and stay out in front of it,” Weld says.

While this resolution is not a mandate, the city council does have the authority to make it mandatory.

“Our city’s attorney’s office has confirmed that a local mask ordinance to require mask compliance is legal,” Beaton says.

After city hall received more than 700 emails both in support and against the resolution, some community members tell w-e-a-u they have no problem wearing masks in public.

“I feel like everyone should have to wear a mask in public,” says Lexi Giblin of Eau Claire.

“I think it is a really good idea,” says Marissa Harris of Eau Claire. “It is pretty well known that masks help us and protect us from everything that’s going on.”

Again, this is only a request by the city council, not a requirement at this time.

“We wanted to just urge the community as strong as we can to wear masks as a way to protect and love our community,” Beaton says.

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