SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Wearing a mask is a highly debatable topic throughout South Dakota.
A proposal for a mask mandate in Sioux falls was brought forward at the last city council meeting. The mandate has moved on to a second reading, but members are divided on the subject.
One city council member for Brookings believes even just a discussion about masks can positively impact the community, even if a mandate isn’t instilled.
Nick Wendell says the more you talk about masking, the better people are informed.
“Sometimes I think we underestimate, on a local level, how much the items we put on our meetings agendas actually influence the conversations that are happening in our communities. For no other reason than considering this mask mandate in Sioux Falls maybe elevated the idea of mask wearing in the public consciousness that’s probably going to be a positive outcome from the discussion,” Wendell said.
Wendell says as city leaders, the discussions they’re having help to spread the word throughout the community.
“So, they’re tuned into the topic. They’re hearing the information from experts. They’re seeing the data that’s impacting their cities and their communities, and those are all positive things. When we’re talking about a public health crisis, we need our citizenry to be as well informed as possible,” Wendell said.
He continued on to say it’s important people are getting their information from multiple sources, not just on social media. One source to stay in tune with is your health care community.
“What we’re hearing from our health systems and our frontline health workers and experts in the field, it’s true. It’s happening in our communities, and anything we can do individually to help slow the spread of the virus and help alleviate some of this pressure on the folks who are most heavily impacted by it, I’m willing to do that. And, I think as community members and neighbors, we should do what we can to keep people safe,” Wendell said.
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