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Schuyler Board of Health recommends mask mandate to City Council

Schuyler Board of Health recommends mask mandate to City Council

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The Schuyler Board of Health on Tuesday, Jan. 12, recommended a mask mandate to the City Council. The City Council will consider it on Jan. 19, Mayor Jon Knutson said.

The Board of Health voted 4 to 1 to recommend the ordinance, which is similar to the mask mandate passed by the City of Columbus. City Council President Daryl Holmberg was the lone vote against the measure.

But Columbus recently passed a provision which ties the presence of the mandate to the number of new positive COVID-19 cases in Platte County. The Schuyler Board of Health decided against that provision.

“If me wearing a mask, if it saves someone’s life, I would definitely do that. And that’s my whole process. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to put a mask on,” said Board Member Usha Kanthety, who is a doctor. “But if someone does not want to put a mask on, I respect their opinion.”

Holmberg also said he respected those who want to wear masks and stores that want to require them but added that there are parts of the ordinance he doesn't agree with.

“I didn’t like that they did away with the deal like Columbus had,” Holmberg said. “…I see in Schuyler, I think most all the stores, most all the people are wearing masks, I’d say a real high percentage that shop (are) wearing a mask. I think everybody’s doing well the way it is.”

Education is a big key, and the other big key is vaccinations, he added.

“I hear a lot of people that are going to refuse getting vaccinated. I think that’s wrong. That’s worse than not wearing a mask, as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

The mask mandate was the only item on the agenda, Knutson said.

“(It’s) a little late, but we are going to at least put it before the Council,” Knutson said.

The ordinance needs to be approved by the Council before going into effect.

“We shall see where that goes,” he said.

Read the ordinance below:

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