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Hastings mask policy extension put on hold

The Hastings City Council vote to suspend the council rules and immediately adopt an amended citywide mask policy failed on Monday evening.

The council voted 5-1 to approve the amended policy, which required only a simple majority to pass. However, when voting to suspend the rules to have the policy take effect immediately, a 3/4 majority of all elected members is required. Upon voting to suspend the rules to take the policy to its second and final reading, the policy received a 5-1 vote, which was one vote short of the number needed to reach the majority required by state statute.

Two city council members were not in attendance and did not vote.

Although the policy failed to take effect immediately, it will automatically be placed on the next council meeting agenda for its second and final reading.

Without an immediate mask policy extension, the mask policy that is in place will expire at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 23.

The amended mask policy would have extended the requirement to wear masks inside businesses and other public buildings until the city saw a 7-day rolling average of 8 or fewer COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population per day (equating to 2 or fewer cases per day in the City of Hastings) maintained for two consecutive weeks, unless otherwise extended by ordinance passed and approved by the City Council.

Even without a mask policy in place, businesses can still choose to require masks according to each establishment’s own policies. The City of Hastings will continue to require visitors to wear masks inside all city buildings at this time.

Published Date: 02/23/2021

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