The City of Brookings has a mask mandate, and though there are some exceptions, people must wear masks when they are in an indoor business or indoor public place when six feet of social distancing isn’t possible. The Brookings City Council approved the ordinance in September. The latest data from the South Dakota Department of Health tells us that there are 189 active cases of COVID-19 in Brookings County.
“The mask mandate has our support … we understand that sometimes it’s difficult for others, we understand that there’s some points of contention, but we can say that with the mandate, we’ve seen a new confidence in our clientele coming down and being able to try to return as much as they can to normal,” said Seth Koch, owner of Wooden Legs Brewing Company.
“Cases are up in the state, and I think we have to be very, very thoughtful and careful about the path forward here,” said Barry Dunn, president of South Dakota State University. “As it gets colder, we move inside, we got the flu season coming, so I think we need to be awful careful.”
“I don’t necessarily want to say, ‘Hey guys, I’m definitely for masks- everyone needs to wear one all the time,'” Brookings resident Kellrhema Hinton said. “But as an employee here, I like to respect the rules, and as a citizen or a community member of Brookings, I want to respect the authorities.”
“100% agree, if you believe that you need to have a mask on, then you should,” SDSU student Carson Tschetter said. “But I believe that me and my friends, when we want to go to social gatherings or go anywhere else and I don’t think I need to wear a mask, then I believe that I should be able to do what I want.”
You can read about exemptions to the Brookings mask mandate by reading the agenda and minutes of the September 8, 2020 city council meeting available here.