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Mask use encouraged in FD

A proclamation encouraging — but not requiring — people to wear face masks has been issued in Fort Dodge.

The proclamation was read during Monday’s City Council meeting by Councilman Dave Flattery, who was filling in for Mayor Matt Bemrich. Flattery is the mayor pro tem.

It emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility in facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The principal points of the proclamation are:

• Individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.

• Businesses are encouraged to implement safety protocols.

The proclamation was read early in the council meeting. About an hour later, near the end of the meeting, Councilman Neven Conrad said he had received a message from someone asking if the proclamation was a mask mandate. It is not, he said.

Councilman Jeff Halter said he was not contacted about the proclamation before the meeting.

City Manager David Fierke said the proclamation “came up late this afternoon.” He said it was based on one issued in Sioux City, and added that he chose wording that he considered “innocuous.”

“This is really a crisis,” Councilman Terry Moehnke said of the COVID-19 situation. “It’s going to get worse.”

“For us to go around without masks is foolish,” he added.

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