Benicia considers implementing mask mandate

BENICIA, Calif. (KRON) – One city is taking matters into its own hands when it comes to masking.

Solano County is the only county in the Bay Area without a mask mandate, but Benicia is considering implementing one.

On Tuesday, city council will be voting on a resolution to require face masks in indoor settings.

Mariana Moore has lived in the city for more than 40 years.

She says she loves it here but thinks they need to do more to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“If you follow the news at all and you follow the science you have to wear masks. I have kids in school and they’re wearing masks. The teachers are wearing masks.”

Mayor Steve Young tells KRON4 he’s been hearing similar calls for a mask mandate from other Benicia residents – and since the county isn’t going to implement one, he’s looking to do it on the city level.

“It’s frustrating to feel like on one hand we’re out of step with the rest of the county but perhaps another way to look at it is Solano County is out of step with the larger Bay Area community.”

Mayor Young says back at the beginning of the pandemic, the city had to institute a mask mandate on their own as well because health leaders wouldn’t do it on the county level.

“We are more likely to follow the lead of what we perceive to be the scientific consense on masks.”

Moore says she hopes to see the county put this into effect this week.

“I just hope everyone thinks about how to not only take care of their own needs and their own desires but what we can do as a community. That’s what we have to do to beat this.”  

The resolution to requiring masks was just introduced last week and it will be voted on this Tuesday at the city council meeting.

The mayor says they need three votes to pass the resolution.

He told KRON4 News he will be voting for it, the vice mayor will also be voting in favor, so they only need one more vote. He says based on conversations he’s had, he believes they’ll get it.

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