RACINE — Racine could be turning back the pandemic clock, bringing back its indoor mask mandate. The city let it expire earlier this summer when the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to be dying down.
Health leaders cite an increase in positive COVID-19 cases over the past four weeks. TMJ4 News spoke with people around town to see what they thought about the idea.
Racine’s Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox proposed reinstating the city's indoor face mask ordinance.
"It don't really bother me. I mean we gotta play it safe,” said Takayis Thomas, manager of Envy Fits & Fashion in Downtown Racine.
Thomas said he's not bothered by the policy simply because he can give masks to people who come into his shop.
"We're taking the steps to make sure everybody is safe and hopefully, everyone else is too,” Thomas said.
The ordinance would require all people in the city wear a mask in all indoor public spaces. That includes taxis and ride shares.
But not everybody is okay with bringing back the mandate.
TMJ4 News caught up with friends Holly, Lisa and Laurie at an outdoor concert, each with varying opinions on mask requirements.
"I think it should be more of a choice if you want to wear a mask,” Holly said.
"I don't think that the mask being mandated, or the vaccines being mandated, is the answer,” Lisa said.
"I want to do whatever to keep people safe. I don't want to find out my nieces or nephews, who can't get vaccinated, passed away and I'll always wonder,” Laurie added.
No matter what happens in council, these three say they'll respect each others choices.
"We're friends,” Holly said. “We respect each other, so we're not going to let that decide if we're going to hang out together."
The health department is also requesting a new policy for all city employees to be tested weekly for COVID-19. The only way to be exempt from this is to get vaccinated.