Woodstock City Councilwoman Tracy Collins hoped the city could soon end its requirement that people wear masks in government buildings. However, when she pitched the idea Monday, it failed to get support from her fellow council members.
Collins put forth a motion to repeal Woodstock’s mask mandate by May 1, but it failed without a second.
“I just think it’s time,” Collins said.
Although some council members said they were not big fans of being masked up, they were also concerned about ending the mandate. Councilman Warren Johnson said he was concerned that the country was getting a bit too relaxed slightly too early.
“We’re in the right direction, but every morning, the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reminds us that we’re not there yet. I’m hesitant to set a date, say May 1 today, because there’s a lot of unknowns. I’m open to evaluating it again May 1, but I’m not comfortable setting a date today,” Johnson said.
During the deliberation, Councilman Colin Ake asked City Manager Jeff Moon where things stood on the city’s efforts to get its employees fully vaccinated. Of the city’s 220 employees, at least 32 would have completed the COVID-19 vaccine regimen by the end of the work day Tuesday, Moon said. An additional 19 employees received their first shot at an event the city hosted April 1 and would receive a second dose at the end of the month. Lastly, Moon said it was also possible that some employees had received their first dose through their doctor and had not yet reported it to city officials.
“I have mixed emotions, because I’m probably one of the ones who wears them the most after what I went through last year,” Moon said. “Honestly, we have a number of employees who just totally ignore it on a daily basis. It’s very frustrating and makes me want to bang my head against the wall where there’s a sign that says, ‘masks required,’ and they just flippantly disobey.”
“I tend to lean with Jeff on May 1 maybe being a little early,” Ake said. “I try to be a very data-driven person on this. I am sick of wearing these masks, just like everyone else. But, I feel like we need to let the data drive us on this one, and I think I’d probably prefer to see it stick around a little bit longer.”