Benson will wait for direction on mask mandate

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

With Minnesota seeing a record number of COVID-19 cases Monday, the state may be one step closer to issuing a mask mandate. What role the City of Benson would have to play in enforcing the mandate is unknown at this point.

At its meeting Monday night, the Benson City Council agreed it didn’t want to take action to issue its own mask requirement as some cities, mostly in the metropolitan Twin Cities area, have been doing. Rather, it will ask citizens to wear masks in public places voluntarily.

However, citizen concern about the local spread of the deadly COVID-19 has been growing as the number of cases diagnosed in Swift County has risen quickly in recent days.

At the start of July, there had been 20 cases of COVID-19 reported in the county. As of Monday, the number of cases had more than doubled in just 20 days to 46. Minnesota reported 922 cases Monday, 75 more than the previous record of 847 cases back on May 23.

“Things change constantly,” Countryside Public Health Director Liz Auch told the Benson City Council Monday night. Countryside is a five-county public health agency that serves Swift, Chippewa, Big Stone, Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties...


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