The Superior City Council extended the state of emergency and reinstated a local order to require face coverings in public indoor spaces through April 30.
The measure passed nearly unanimously Tuesday, Feb. 2, by voice vote without discussion. Councilor Keith Kern, who previously objected to a citywide mask mandate, objected to the extension with a lone no vote.
The order requires people over age 5 to wear face coverings in indoor areas accessible to the public and while riding in a public bus or taxicab, with certain exceptions. Individuals who fail to comply with the mandate may be asked to leave or be charged with trespassing. Compliance is mandatory for any license or economic incentive from the city for up to a year after the resolution expires.
It is the second time city officials called on the council to extend the emergency first declared by Mayor Jim Paine in March 2020. The council approved the first emergency declaration and a subsequent extension by the mayor in May.
Paine told the Telegram last week that he included the masking requirement as the Wisconsin Legislature debates repealing Gov. Tony Evers’ emergency declaration, which would nullify a statewide mask mandate.
The state Senate voted 18-13 to end the emergency order Tuesday, Jan. 26, but the Assembly pulled the measure Thursday, Jan. 28. Lawmakers decided to postpone the vote after they learned that striking down the order could cost the state millions in federal food assistance dollars.
Paine said he decided to bring Superior’s mask mandate back because of the statewide mask mandate's uncertain future.