Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce President comments on mask mandate opposition

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux falls City Council is currently considering a citywide mask mandate. The proposal before council members would require people to wear masks when around other people in most situations.

The Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce wanted to know how its members feel about the proposal, so they sent out a survey. They announced the results, along with the chamber’s position on the issue on Friday.

“What we found out is, what you find at water coolers across the town– a wide variety of opinions,” Jeff Griffin said.

Chamber President and CEO, Jeff Griffin says they took the information from the surveys and talked with city leaders. After much discussion they came up with a recommendation. The chamber will not support the citywide mandate that would force business to require masks for both patrons and employees.

While they strongly support mask wearing, social distancing and other measures, Griffin says they feel the proposed ordinance is too vague.

“The opposition to the ordinance revolves around the lack of clarity on how it would play out, consequences to businesses, penalties to individuals, enforcement requirements by the businesses– those details. Once you get into developing a law, those things need spelled out more clearly,” Griffin said.

One of the businesses that would be impacted is The Spa on Phillips. Michelle Loundsbery bought the former Spa 2000 in August. She encourages those who work at the spa to wear masks, but says there is strong opposition by a few.  

“I know that there are a lot of different people who have a lot of different opinions on whether to wear a mask or not, and for me, I try to be just very mindful of respecting other people, regardless of whether they decide to wear a mask or not. So I guess it would just be my hope that it not be mandated and continue to let us make decision as we have,” Loundsbery said.

The city council will vote on the mask mandate at its meeting next Tuesday. Mayor Paul TenHaken could cast the deciding vote on the proposed mask mandate. He told us three weeks ago that he doesn’t believe a mandate would work.

You can read the Chamber’s full news release below.

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