Deadwood mask mandate remains at city hall, library

Courtesy photo

DEADWOOD — While Deadwood Rec Center patrons will now enjoy a “mask encouraged” policy, patrons frequenting city hall or the public library must still wear face coverings until the subject is reviewed again at the July 6 Deadwood City Commission meeting.

Monday, the Deadwood City Commission passed an emergency resolution regarding face coverings in public spaces in light of Gov. Kristi Noem’s executive order declaring a state of emergency in South Dakota through June 30, due to COVID-19.  

“The changes on this are fairly minimal,” said Deadwood Public Buildings, Transportation, and Safety Supervisor Tom Kruzel. “The Deadwood Rec Center will be moving to a ‘mask encouraged,’ instead of ‘mask mandatory.’ Deadwood City Hall and the public library will both remain mask mandatory. The public library did have a library board meeting and that is the direction the library board would like to go, as well. As previously discussed, city hall is a little bit different setting than the rec center. This is a must-go-to place, so we want to make sure that everyone in here is safe, no matter what. It’s not an elective to go all the time.”

Kruzel said he realizes the CDC has released new information in the last week regarding the issue.

“But I think it’s best we stick with what we have written until July 6, when we’ll further address it then,” he added.

Deadwood Mayor David Ruth, Jr. thanked the staff for continually reviewing the city’s policies to see if there are areas where they can adjust them.

“I like this current version of it simply because, yes, the CDC has said you can go without masks indoors if you have received your vaccine, but I don’t want to put our staff in a position where they’re expected to ask people if they’ve been vaccinated,” Ruth said. “Always know that city hall, if you don’t feel comfortable coming in because they’re asking you to wear a mask, our staff is happy to bring the services outside to you, if need be, and that’s the same on the library. The library is actually the library board making that decision.”

As stated in the resolution, private businesses have the ability to mandate and enforce mask requirements as they deem fit.

Within the city, face coverings are encouraged in indoor public places owned by the city of Deadwood, other than city hall and the library.

Face coverings are also encouraged in outdoor public places when gathering for more than 15 minutes and/or when six-foot social distancing cannot be achieved or maintained.

All persons are encouraged to wear a face covering while utilizing public transportation, such as the trolley.

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