The Columbus Mask Mandate

Over the past week, on Tuesday, the Columbus City Council agreed on a mask mandate for Columbus, beginning on Saturday, December 5th. The residents of Columbus are required to wear a facial mask covering their nose and down to the chin. Violators of this rule will receive a $25 fine.


It is very important that the people of Columbus wear masks and keep one another safe in such a potentially tragic time. You may not think that masks work or maybe you think they do, but if you decide not to wear a face mask outside of your home, the science suggests an increased risk of getting or transmitting COVID-19. 


According to a recent article from the BBC, Brookings, South Dakota, a town with about 1,200 more people than Columbus, has seen a significant reduction in COVID cases thanks to a mask mandate in the city. Brookings County had the highest number of cases in South Dakota‘s five most populous counties when the city of Brookings, home to about 70% of the county’s population, implemented its mask mandate. 


The early-September mask mandate in Brookings helped remarkably.  Since late October, Brookings County has reported the lowest number of COVID cases amongst South Dakota’s five largest counties.  While correlation does not always equal causation, three of the counties the BBC compared with Brookings have also experienced a drop in cases after a mask mandate. However, Brown County, the fifth of the five counties and the only one without a mask mandate, now claims the most COVID cases per 100,000 people of the originally compared counties.  


If the mask mandate does decrease cases throughout our town, it could in fact let schools proceed and even have sports in play for students. The mask mandate could also prevent jobs from shutting down, meaning people can keep working to buy food and other necessities for themselves, their children, and their pets. 


If we take the mask mandate seriously just like Brookings did, the data suggests that we can reduce the spread of COVID in Columbus. This can help us all stay safe, healthy, and can hasten our return to normalcy.  Ultimately, the citizens of Columbus should accept the City Councils’ law, and contribute to the reduction of COVID spread.  Actions speak louder than words and the action of wearing a mask speaks to a communities goal of reducing this disease.


If you are looking to stay tuned with more school updates and activities follow @chsanchornews on Twitter and Instagram.


Work Cited


Horton, Jake, et al. “Covid-19: The Mask-Wearing US City That Bucked the Trend.” BBC News, BBC, 10 Dec. 2020,

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