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Commissioners extend mask mandate for Carlton County buildings

Commissioners voted to extend the county building mask policy and have the policy be reviewed in April.

FILE: Carlton County Transportation
The Carlton County Transportation Building. Izabel Johnson / 2021 file / Pine Journal
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The Carlton County Board of Commissioners voted Monday, Jan. 24, to extend its mask policy. The mandate will be reviewed in April.

The policy, which is only required for county buildings, was approved 4-1. District 4 Commissioner Mark Thell cast the dissenting vote.

County Coordinator Dennis Genereau recommended the board approve the policy until April as the transmission level of COVID-19 in the county has not dropped substantially since the policy was implemented.

"It makes sense to get through February and March," he said. "(Cases) are still high."

According to the policy, should the transmission level drop below substantial, masking would not be required.

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The policy was effective Nov. 1, 2021, and was planned to be reviewed in January.

Board Chair Gary Peterson, said the county has not yet hit a peak in cases compared to areas on the East Coast of the country.

"It is dropping out there, but out West and here we haven't hit a peak," he said. "So why don't we just monitor it while we go through."

Genereau added that should cases and transmission level drop before April the policy could be brought back for review sooner.

The county's current level of transmission can be found on its COVID-19 page at https://bit.ly/3AtvBRu.

County seeks bonding funds for justice center

In other county business, Peterson asked county staff if they had looked into securing more state bonding funds for the proposed justice center.

Mary Finnegan, economic development director for the county, said staff have met with state representatives to create a proposal.

"Yes we are requesting money for the female offender program and the judicial center," she said. "A formal proposal hasn't been brought to the board yet, but it will be in the next few weeks."

Related Topics: CARLTON COUNTYCARLTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERSCORONAVIRUS
Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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