A citywide mask mandate is not in Rapid City’s near future

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Some people in the Rapid City community are asking for a city wide mask mandate. But Mayor Steve Allender says it would not work.

Mayor Allender says that it’s too difficult to enforce a citywide mask mandate. However, at Tuesday’s briefing he did offer some alternatives.

“I am working with a marketing firm to launch a campaign, a professional marketing campaign, around the importance of wearing face coverings. All of us, everyone of us, including individuals and groups and organizations should have a renewed commitment to safe practices,” Mayor Allender said.

Mayor Allender also says everyone should limit group sizes and he encourages local businesses to enforce a mask mandate for customers.

“I think if the business community were to bind together and all agree collectively that a mask mandate for their business is the best then it would be an even playing field,” Mayor Allender said.

It has been 80 days since the Mayor held a COVID-19 update, he says since then the number of positive cases in Pennington County went from about 700 to over 3,000.

“Active cases in Pennington County have gone from 152 to 673. Pennington County in the past eight months has experienced 41 of the state’s 288 deaths,” Mayor Allender said.

Allender says the only way we can get through this pandemic is together.

“We’re not getting through it together yet. We’re getting through it on our own as individuals. If we are to be together, we have to share a common goal,” Mayor Allender said.

Mayor Allender says there may be more frequent COVID-19 updates in the future.

While a citywide mask mandate is not in Rapid City’s near future, Mayor Allender says people can practice healthy habits, like exercising and focusing on the positives.

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