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During the Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, special meeting, the West Fargo City Commission approved a New Mask Strategy for the City of West Fargo.
The New Mask Strategy strongly urges people in West Fargo to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose in buildings where they may encounter people outside of their household and they are unable to keep 6 feet of distance from them. They are also strongly urged to wear a mask in all outdoors settings where they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from people outside of their household. It also urgently directs businesses to follow the ND Smart Restart guidelines, which limits customers in their building to 25% capacity with a maximum of 50 people.
Customers entering restaurants, bars, breweries, and similar businesses are encouraged to wear a face covering from the time they enter the building to the time they sit. They should continue to wear their mask if they are not in the process of eating or drinking. Individuals using or operating public transportation, rideshares, Uber, Lyft and taxi services should wear a face covering from pickup to arrival at the destination.
There is no penalty for not following the New Mask Strategy, but it does support property owners who wish to require masks in their buildings. Ultimately, the New Mask Strategy places responsibility on each individual to wear masks to ensure they are not spreading coronavirus and protecting their family, friends, colleagues and fellow community members.
The New Mask Strategy took effect immediately and will remain in effect until Governor Doug Burgum adjusts Cass County’s risk level, or Commission President Bernie Dardis or a majority of the West Fargo City Commission decides to change or end the New Mask Strategy.
It also includes a list of exemptions to the requirement, which includes children younger than school age, with a medical condition or disability that prevents face coverings and certain employment, athletic and other activities.
Cass County is currently in the orange, high county risk level. From Oct. 7, 2020, to Oct. 20, 2020, the number of active cases per 10,000 residents increased from 29.8 to 53.3. According to the state of North Dakota, this level represents a significant level of transmission and high risk for exposure due to widespread community spread of infections. In this designation, the state recommends only essential work and travel, face coverings, avoiding crowds, shared spaces and large gatherings, and increased cleaning on high-touch surfaces.
Orange is the second worst risk level under the Smart Restart guidance for decision-making. At the red, critical risk level, the ND Smart Restart plan calls for nonessential businesses to shut down again.
Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney also issued a Mayoral Mask Mandate Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, to require face coverings in the City of Fargo.
To view the full New Mask Strategy, go here.