City of New Rockford issues mask mandate
November 2, 2020
UPDATE Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. - Official mask mandate language posted at bottom of story.
In an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in Eddy County, the City of New Rockford has issued a mask mandate effective Wednesday, November 4 at 8 a.m.
The mandate was adopted after the Lake Region Health Unit recommended such actions, citing the increasing COVID-19 numbers in the county.
The decision was made at a regular city council meeting on Monday, November 2.
Kim Jensrud, administrator of the Lutheran Home of Good Shepherd, spoke on the topic specifically citing the impact community statistics have on the residents at the home. She explained that in order to monitor the residents of the long term care facility, routine testing has been occurring twice weekly. In addition, residents have limited group activities and are unable to eat communally.
Jensrud went on to highlight the importance of community support in reducing the risk.
Lake Region Health Unit Public Health Nurse Danette Schmid shared some of the insight she has gained in talking with people who have contracted the virus. One such story included how people are trying to make calculated risks, but still falling short. "They said, 'The only place I went was to church," Schmid recalled.
A mask mandate is thought to help provide a layer of safety to the community's most vulnerable populations.
The mandate will model a similar directive issued by the City of Devils Lake last week. Transcript staff reached out to City Auditor George Ritzke, and we'll post the actual mandate language as soon as it is available. The mandate will be in effect until otherwise modified by the New Rockford City Commission.
City of New Rockford, North Dakota
Mandate - COVID-19 - Face Covering Required
The City of New Rockford appreciates the sacrifice that individuals, businesses (including employees and other workers) are making in order to stem the tide of COVID-19 cases; however, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths resulting continue to rise in the world, the nation, and the state, including the City of New Rockford. Each one of us - each resident, adult, child, family, business, and store - must do more. As a community, we must all do our part to greatly reduce the spread of this deadly COVID-19 disease and, therefore, I am issuing this MANDATE to every person, family, business, and store in the City and to adopt appropriate measures accordingly.
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY DECLARED, ORDERED, AND MANDATED:
Article I. Definitions. - For purpose of this mandate, the following definitions shall apply:
a. “Face covering” shall mean a paper or two-layered cloth face mask that covers the nose and mouth completely, and includes a paper or disposable face mask or a religious face covering.
b. “Business” and “businesses” are broadly defined to include entities that employ or engage workers, including private-sector entities, public-sector entities, non-profit entities, and state, county, and local governments.
c. “Social distancing” means individuals keeping at least six (6) feet of distance from other individual who are not members of their household.
d. “Household” means a group of individuals who share the same living unit.
Article II. COVID-19 Face Coverings Required - Every person shall, within the City of New Rockford, wear a face covering over the mouth and nose in all indoor environments where they are exposed to non-household members and where social distancing of six (6) feet or more cannot be assured and in all outdoor setting where there is exposure to non-household members, unless there exists ample space of six (6) feet or more to practice social distancing.
The following shall be exempt from wearing a face covering:
a. Persons younger than school age, although parents and guardians are encouraged to have such younger children wear face coverings when and where appropriate;
b. Persons with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
c. Persons performing job duties where a six (6) feet distance is not achievable, but a mask is inhibitory to the ability to safely and effectively perform the job duty;
d. Persons participating in athletic activities where a six (6) feet distance is not achievable, but a mask is inhibitory to the activity;
e. Persons actively consuming food or drink;
f. Persons driving a motor vehicle alone or with passengers from the driver’s household;
g. Persons receiving services that require access to the face for security, surveillance, or other purposes may temporarily remove a face covering while receiving those services;
h. Persons engaged in religious worship activities; however, face coverings are strongly encouraged; and,
i. Persons giving a speech or performance for broadcast or to an audience; however, those persons shall safely distance from nearby individuals.
This mandate shall not prohibit law enforcement officers or local officials from enforcing trespassing laws or other applicable laws in removing violators at the request of businesses or other property owners.
Article III. No Penalty - Although these measures are being mandated with the strongest possible recommendation, there is no penalty for non-compliance with this mandate.
Article IV. Effective Date and Term - This mandate shall take effect at 8:00 am on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 and will continue until modified by action of the New Rockford City Commission or it’s president.
Article V. No Face Covering - The City of New Rockford does not condone the harassment or ridicule of persons who are not wearing masks.
DATED this 2nd day of November, 2020.
President New Rockford City Commission