Mayor Tells Us How A City Wide Mask Mandate Would Be Enforced
Seems like everyone has an opinion on a Coronavirus mask mandate. An unofficial poll on the air showed 75% of KROC NEWS listeners were in favor of a mandatory mask policy, but social media is another thing.
With so many people saying they will NOT be .wearing a mask if Rochester were to mandate such a thing, how would it be enforced? Mayor Norton said,
How do we enforce seat-belts? How do we enforce no shirt, no shoes, no service businesses. Just ask their patrons to do it and say, I'm not going to serve you. If you don't put on shoes, I can't let you in my business. That's against public health. It's the same kind of thing. Um, seat belt, you know, it's most people.
Does she think non compliance will be a big problem?
And I would say the vast majority of people understand that, you know, we have rules and laws to protect people. And once they become a rule or a law, they comply. There are always a few who buck the trend. I know a few people to this day who think it's their right to not wear a seat-belt.
Click play to hear the conversation. Full transcript of this audio clip follows.
Automatic transcript of KROC NEWS conversation with Kim Norton, Mayor of Rochester, MN on 07/01/20. The larger conversation was about a possible mandatory masking policy in Rochester, MN. This part of the conversation also includes how to enforce the possible mandate. You may find errors, please listen to audio above for corrections. You can hear the entire podcast here. Just click the link, then Wednesday July 1.
James Rabe (00:00):
It is Rochester Today and this is Mayor Norton. Let's talk about the masking thing,
Rochester Mayor Kim Norton (00:05):
Wear a mask to assure that we can keep our economy open and protect lives is a small thing to ask of someone in order to assure health and our economy stays alive. It's not a punishment. It's the request to save lives and keep our economy moving. You know,
James Rabe (00:22):
If you'd like to encourage someone to get active and maybe someone's listening and says, Hey, I don't want masses. Who do they contact to feel like their input is being heard?
Rochester Mayor Kim Norton (00:32):
Mass, whether you want them or not. We'll be in this community, a decision made by the city council who will have to ratify that decision. But also, um, the governor is actually looking at this now. Um, you know, it's difficult for him because he looks at the whole state, not just, um, the, um, regional centers that are hit the most because that's where a lot of the economy comes from. And a lot in there are a lot more bodies there. Um, and, and so he's actually now looking at it too, because people just have gotten lacks and are not complying. So, um, the governor's office, another place to weigh up,
James Rabe (01:07):
Let's say that it becomes mandated. How do we enforce that?
Rochester Mayor Kim Norton (01:12):
How do we enforce seatbelts? How do we enforce no shirt, no shoes, no service businesses. Just ask their patrons to do it and say, I'm not going to serve you. If you don't put on shoes, I can't let you in my business. That's against public health. It's the same kind of thing. Um, seatbelt, you know, it's most people. And I would say the vast majority of people understand that, you know, we have rules and laws to protect people. And once they become a rule or a law, they comply, there are always a few who buck the trend. I know a few people to this day who think it's their right to not wear a seatbelt. And, um, you know, as long as they're not pot, I guess they're going to get away with it. And it makes them feel good to do that in my mind, you know, seatbelt was there to protect them as well as other people in the car and someone that, you know, if they're a, uh, if they fly through their window, it was to protect them, but also other people in the car. So it's not just always about you. It's about other people around you.
James Rabe (02:10):
It sounds like it will be very much if we becomes mandated, we hope everyone does it. And there will be penalties, but we're not going to be inside people's homes, demanding. They do it.
Rochester Mayor Kim Norton (02:21):
And then really, if we go toward the mandate, it won't be outside. It will be when you get, unless you can't distance yourself. And, you know, from someone, it will be in indoors in businesses. And it isn't, you know, there's a lot of talk about mask shaming. This isn't about shaming. It is about protecting the, there are people who write and call who are medically fragile, who are terrified, who have been locked in their homes for four months and they want to get out. They want to go to the grocery store. One woman said I'm eating peanut butter and crackers because I can't get to the grocery store. I'm so afraid I'll get sick. And she's medically fragile. Well, the least we can do is wear our masks. So she can go to the grocery store and feel safe in the store, buying her groceries.
And, you know, we have made arrangements for a few people to be able to get help from nonprofits in town to deliver groceries, but people need more socialization than this. And so if we can just wear our masks, those people that are medically fragile, as long as they social distance and wear masks are allowed to get out of their home and be around other people and allow some normalicy as well. So it isn't a punishment. It isn't meant to be heavy handed. It's meant to allow the whole community to stay viable, open, and have some social freedoms and, and, uh, be able to talk to people.