ST. CLOUD -- You will not need to mask up again in the city of St. Cloud.  During Monday night's meeting, the St. Cloud City Council voted four to two to enact an emergency mask mandate ordinance, due to the increasing cases of COVID-19.  However, the city ordinance requires a supermajority of five votes in order for it to be enacted.

Councilmembers Carol Lewis, George Hontos, Dave Masters, and Steve Laraway all voted in favor of the mandate.  Councilmembers Mike Conway and Paul Brandmire both voted not.  Councilmember Jeff Goerger was not at the meeting.

The same emergency ordinance cannot be voted on again.

The mandate would have been effective as of midnight Monday and would have been in effect until February 15th.

Individual private businesses are still free to implement their own masking rules if they want to.

Councilmember Carol Lewis says "if your medical community is asking for help, you need to help them".

Councilmember Mike Conway says "A three-week mask mandate isn't going to change anything, and it will do nothing but hurt businesses of St. Cloud."

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis didn't get a vote on the emergency ordinance but spoke out strongly against it.

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The discussion during the council meeting was interrupted several times by people in attendance that were there to both support and oppose the mandate.  There was also a 10-minute recess due to comments from the audience members.

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