St. Cloud-area leaders have failed health workers: Letter

·2 min read

St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park mayors dropped the ball on a life-and-death decision.

The CentraCare leadership made a reasonable plea to the city leaders to mandate masks in indoor public spaces for six weeks. The reasons are many and compelling. CentraCare provided plenty of facts to back the need for this important mandate.

We are blessed to have CentraCare in our community. All of us rely on them to be there in a time of need. But city leaders didn't help them and our community in their time of need.

Because the mandate may have been divisive is no reason not to make the decision. Elections are divisive. Seat belts laws bring division. But we have them because they are the right thing to do. Difficult to enforce? Sure, but all of us realize it would be a very low priority for law enforcement. The mandate to wear masks indoors in public places is what is important. The mandate helps business owners explain the reason to staff and customers why they must wear masks.

The forecasted increase in COVID-19 cases will add to the crisis CentraCare faces and may force them to do “rationing” of care unless we can bend the curve with more indoor masking and limiting of large public events.

I pray no one will have a heart attack, stroke or be in a traffic accident and be delayed in treatment because the hospital is flooded with COVID-19 omicron patients. CentraCare pleaded for your help as community leaders. Instead, you gave the hospital heroes who are stretched thin, stressed and overworked a slap in the face.

Has there been a better partner in this community than CentraCare? But when they asked for the mandate, city leaders failed them.

Shame on your inability to make a critical decision. A weak letter “asking” people to follow the guidelines doesn't cut it. You think your job isn’t to make mandates. It is your job to protect the health and safety of your citizens.

Please reconsider and institute a six-week mask mandate indoors in public places.

John Bodette

St. Cloud

This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: St. Cloud-area leaders failed health workers in COVID crisis: Letter

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