Yesterday, I posted about the potential mask mandate that was hours away from being voted on for the citizens of Bismarck. The proposal that was set to be voted on did not quite pass. So, Bismarck will not (yet) have a citywide mask mandate. Instead, our city will be implementing a "Pandemic Mitigation Strategy" which starts November first.

So, here's what we need to know about the new "Pandemic Mitigation Strategy":

  • BUSINESSES - All businesses must limit their occupancy, based on the current risk level established in Burleigh County. Social distance must be maintained.
    • RESTAURANTS - Patrons who enter "restaurants, bars, breweries, and similar on-site establishments must wear face coverings" until seated. A mask must also be worn if patron is not at the table.
    • LIQUOR ESTABLISHMENTS - Places that sell liquor must implement social distancing practices and limit occupancy in accordance with the established risk level in Burleigh County.
    • PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, RIDESHARES, ETC. - Individuals providing public transportation and passengers must wear face coverings.
  • LARGE GATHERINGS - Indoor and outdoor events with 50 or more people must limit occupancy in accordance with risk level guidelines in Burleigh County.
    • Events with 15 or more people require masks. At a wedding, the bride and groom do not have to wear masks.
  • FACE COVERINGS REQUIRED - Everyone in the City of Bismarck MUST "wear face coverings in all indoor settings  open to the public where a person is exposed to non-household members" and where proper social distancing is not possible.
    • There are exemptions. Read those here.
  • ENFORCEMENT - The only enforcement for not wearing a mask is that "law enforcement officers or local officials can enforce trespassing and other applicable laws in removing violators" at the request of business or property owners.

The "Pandemic Mitigation Strategy" will go in to effect on November 1 "and shall end on the day that the 14-day rolling average positivity rate for Burleigh County in 8% or less." It will be reviewed on December eighth.

Basically, you won't really get in trouble for not wearing a mask. BUT if a business decides to kick you out and you won't leave, you can get in to a bit of legal trouble that way. What do you think about the "Pandemic Mitigation Strategy"?