Marshfield COVID-19 Task Force to Discuss Potential Mask Mandate in City

No Recommendations Formally Proposed Yet

Marshfield (OnFocus) – At the City of Marshfield Common Council meeting Tuesday night, City Administrator Steve Barg shared that he has commissioned a special COVID-19 task force.

[Update Wednesday 10:12 pm: Message from Steve Barg regarding city communications on a mask ordinance, “ In watching the video, I saw that I was not as clear as I could have been in communicating that the group of people that I have asked to meet and monitor the situation with COVID-19 is a handful of city employees who work in City Hall, and their ONLY mission is to look at a possible future need for further restrictions AT CITY HALL, including the potential of recommending a mask requirement for city staff and/or customers AT CITY HALL!  I had no intent to start a conversation on a community-wide mask ordinance. In watching the video, I saw that I was not as clear as I could have been in communicating that the group of people that I have asked to meet and monitor the situation with COVID-19 is a handful of city employees who work in City Hall, and their ONLY mission is to look at a possible future need for further restrictions AT CITY HALL, including the potential of recommending a mask requirement for city staff and/or customers AT CITY HALL!  I had no intent to start a conversation on a community-wide mask ordinance.”]

Noting the spike in Wood County cases, Barg commissioned the group to make recommendations to Barg on what they think the city should be doing to protect “ourselves and the citizens.” They plan to start meeting on Friday.

Are you in favor of the city mandating mask (face-coverings) city wide?

“Do we need to look at a mask mandate at some point? Do we need to look at other barriers and restrictions that might keep us all safe?” said Barg. “Right now we’re not proposing anything, but I look forward to their input as we go along in the days and weeks ahead.”

Barg noted that internally staff discuss COVID at meetings on a weekly basis, but he wanted to provide an update to Council because there hasn’t been a formal update since reopening facilities in June.

“Right now I charge the department heads with continuing to monitor the facilities and as we see what comes from Madison and from Wood County,” said Barg. “We need to be able to adapt.”

During Council Comments, Alderman Ken Bargender read a letter, dated 7/14/20, from the Pittsley family in his district.

“Our family would like to take this opportunity to express our concern with the possible mandating of face masks within our community,” Kevin, Melissa, and Leo Pittsley wrote. “We instead are in favor of local businesses making that decision individually. The mandating of face mask is an overreach of government.”

“I believe every person has the right to choose whether or not they wear a mask,” said Alderman Adam Fischer. “People should be able to make these decisions without government mandating these choices for us as citizens.”

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