Cloquet Follows Duluth in 30-Day Mask Mandate

CLOQUET, Minn. — It’s been nearly a week after Duluth mandated masks around the city, and a neighboring town is now doing the same.

Last week the Cloquet Community Memorial Hospital was “crisis planning”, for a wave of covid patients, and now this week, they were sending letters to the mayor supporting a mask mandate.

The Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet was trying to plan for an overwhelming number of covid patients with the prospect of having to transport them to larger hospitals if necessary, but now they’re hoping the mask mandate might slow that transmission rate.

“The hospital is running on low, so to speak, with bed space, with workers, some getting sick, some getting burnt out, some quit, all kinds of things going on making it difficult for the hospital,” Roger Maki, Mayor of Cloquet said.

While the Community Memorial Hospital is struggling trying to keep up with demand, and maintain a full staff, the CEO sent a letter to Mayor Maki, supporting a mask mandate.

That mask mandate was passed Tuesday night for the next month, impacting all indoor facilities, businesses, recreation centers and more.

Mayor Maki reflected on the first shut down back in 2020, and feels that even though we are back to masks, there is a silver lining.

“At that time we had essential and non-essential businesses, and the non-essential had to close and that was really bad obviously for the whole businesses, were not closing anybody down, were not changing their hours, anything, so I think it’s a rather small price to pay for what we hope is a good result,” Maki said.

And almost two years into the pandemic, those businesses are thankful to keep their doors open now, after they were forced to close the spring of 2020, and find ways to be creative just to stay afloat.

“I’ll be honest, the first shut down, we would not have made it if we didn’t have our live videos, which my daughter is doing, so we continue to do weekly live videos, we post pictures, we just try to stay in touch with our customers, the ladies out there, let them know that we are open,” Kristen Anvid, the Mainstream Boutique Owner said.

Not all the city councilors were in favor of the mandate when they voted Tuesday night, but Mayor Maki’s vote took majority.

He recognizes not everyone in the community is in favor, but he is keeping public safety in mind.

“It’s not fun in that regard, but I believe I did what is the best thing to do at this time,” Maki.

Storeowner Kristen Anvid hasn’t heard too much feedback from customers yet regarding the mandate, she agrees it does have its challenges, but she’s happy to comply.

“I really haven’t just because it did just start this morning, we had to notify our employees, it’s a struggle. It’s hard to communicate with someone when you are behind the mask, so I mean the feelings are there but like I said we just do what we need to do,” Anvid said.

The mayor of Cloquet, Roger Maki, says after seeing information from the Mayo Clinic saying peak covid cases are just around the corner, this 30 day mandate seemed like the right decision.

The mandate was passed last night, effective immediately now through mid-February.

Categories: Health, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News, Public Safety