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Belfast City Council considers indoor mask mandate

A Belfast City Councilor is leading a push to have the city adopt an indoor mask mandate.
A Belfast City Councilor is leading a push to have the city adopt an indoor mask mandate.(WABI)
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 3:38 PM EST
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BELFAST, Maine (WABI) - A Belfast City Councilor is leading a push to have the city adopt an indoor mask mandate.

TV5 was in Belfast Monday to learn about why she thinks it’s what needs to be done.

We also heard from local officials against the move.

“I would like to see Belfast encourage, authorize, obligate, mandate, folks wearing masks inside,” said, Brenda Bonneville, a member of the Belfast City Council.

“I’ve spoken with four high level health care officials over the past couple of days,” said Bonneville. “The system is so strained, and they’re asking for help.”

“It’s a bridge too far,” said Michael Hurley, who is also on the council.

“I don’t support it, primarily because we don’t have the enforcement methods to support something like that,” said Hurley.

Dorothy Havey is the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.

“We don’t support an indoor mask mandate,” she said Monday. “We’ve heard from several businesses today who prefer that it be left up to the individual businesses. I’ve only heard from people who are not in support of it, so no one is calling me saying hey, we want to an indoor mask mandate.”

“I’ve heard from many, many local businesses, many of them will require masking.” added Hurley. “They don’t want to mandate it either, and I’m in agreement with them.”

As Hurley mentioned, several area businesses in Belfast have chosen on their own to require masking for customers. Bonneville is also a small business owner. She and her supporters think this is a necessary next step.

“So, I feel like part of our obligation as City Council is to protect our citizens, the health of our citizens and to also work in partnership with our health care providers so that they can return, obviously, do their jobs, protect citizens, and so, I feel that wearing a mask indoors in businesses can help take some of the pressure off of recommendations,” said Bonneville. “All city hall buildings, for example, City of Belfast buildings are having people, public, and workers wear masks. So, for businesses to do the same, I think that’s just sort of joining forces in that effort and trying to, you know, overcome coronavirus and just move on, and again, as a small business owner, I am prioritizing, you know, the health of everybody in the community over, you know, frankly my bottom line.”

That public meeting to discuss the matter will be held virtually Monday night beginning at 7.

Here is a link to watch the meeting.

If you would like to submit questions of comment for the council, email public@cityofbelfast.org.

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