City of Racine reinstates mask mandate in public indoor spaces, effectively immediately

NOW: City of Racine reinstates mask mandate in public indoor spaces, effectively immediately

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RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The city of Racine will reintroduce its mask ordinance.

The Common Council approved that measure Tuesday night, Aug. 31 after a request from the city's health department.

In passing the mask ordinance, one alderman said it's their responsibility to protect the vulnerable populations.

Business owners say they'll do whatever it takes. For some, mandating masks isn't a big deal.

Omunique Monroe opened her salon, the Unique Experience, during Covid mitigations last year. Masks are all she's known here.

"Even when they lifted the mandate, I still wore it just because the pandemic was still going through it," Monroe said. 

Racine let its last mask mandate expire June 30. 

With Covid infection rates rising and vaccination rates low in Racine, the Common Council held a special meeting Tuesday night to figure out how best to move forward.

"I'm gonna do what I'm told to do. I don't want to affect anyone's lives, but at the same time, is this even beneficial?" asked Stevetta Scott.

The city had one other Covid-related topic -- whether to require employees who aren't vaccinated to be regularly tested. 

"We have a responsibility to create a safe space for our workers and all who enter our buildings," said Alderman Paul Vornholt. 

Another question raised -- whether police could enforce the mask mandate. The city attorney said yes.

"This is something the police department could issue citations for."

Racine has had 86 breakthrough cases since May. Those are people who've been vaccinated getting Covid. 

Public comment held opinions on both sides. 


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