MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) – As the covid-19 numbers slowly go down, a mask mandate in the city of Mitchell is coming to an end. During a meeting earlier this week, the mayor broke the tie on whether or not to extend the ordinance.
Last November, a mask ordinance was implemented for 60 days in Mitchell. Those 60 days are up on January 27th.
And now the council has voted not to extend it for another 30 days.
“It was voted on 4-4, 4 council members were for it, 4 council members opposed it, I broke the tie with a no vote so it will not be extended, it will sunset on January 27th,” Mitchell Mayor, Bob Everson said.
Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson says there were factors that helped him make his decision, including letting people make their own choice on what they want to do, but that’s not all.
“I also based my decision on the numbers going on across the state of South Dakota, more specifically I looked at Aberdeen and the Brown County area because while they are larger than us, it seemed to be a pretty good fit, they have a university, we have a university and a technical college,” Everson said. “If you look specifically at numbers, we had a mask mandate for 60 days, and our numbers were not any different than really Brown County had, they had no mask mandate.”
Some business owners say despite the mask ordinance expiring soon, they plan to continue it in their stores.
“We are probably going to leave our sign up and hopefully people have adjusted to the mask, we will continue to wear ours in the store and safety for all of our customers and me and my family,” owner The Rusted Wing, Kim Vilhauer said.
Vilhauer even thinks the mandate was good for business.
“Since the mask mandate, revenue has went up a lot because people felt more comfortable coming into businesses where there was a mask mandate, and I know everyone has an opinion on it, some don’t believe in it, some do, which that’s everyone’s choice, I think it’s helped the revenue tremendously,” Vilhauer said.
Everson says he hopes the numbers continue in a downward trend in the community and is hopeful the vaccines to get distributed.