St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis along with area Mayors, some county commissioners and business leaders met with top CentraCare officials late last week.  CentraCare asked area decision makers to mandate mask wearing for 6 weeks to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.  Mayor Kleis joined me on WJON today.  He says he believes the information that CentraCare is telling them that includes a 47% positivity rate and severity of the spread.  Kleis says he agrees with all of what CentraCare is requesting but not a mandate.  He says he is encouraging all citizens to wear masks while indoors in public places and he is doing the same.

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Kleis says he believes people are more likely to wear masks when they are asked to do so as opposed to being mandated to do it.  He says people don't like being told what to do.  Kleis says he is also encouraging people to be vaccinated and boosted which is something he has done.  Kleis says he doesn't believe it's the city's role to institute a mask mandate and the enforcement of this would be difficult for the city.

Kleis says the city doesn't have an emergency declaration right now.  He says that expired in May of 2021 when the Governor's emergency powers expired.  Kleis says if they wanted to move ahead with a mandate there would be a process with a public hearing. There would need to be an ordinance change and an ordinance change takes 30 days to take effect.  If the Governor were to call an emergency they could follow suit with that to speed the process.

Mayor Kleis says he believe in helping the healthcare workers in the community and salute the job they have done over the past 2 years working with COVID patients.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Mayor Kleis it is available below.



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