Community reacts to Biden’s mask mandate

Coronavirus

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – One of the first things President Biden did when taking office was ordering mask wearing on federal property. 

He also issued a 100-day mask challenge to Americans to stop the spread of COVID-19, but some people have pandemic fatigue.

People have been wearing masks for almost a year now and are getting tired of it, but health officials warn people now is not the time to let your guard down.  

President Joe Biden issued a mask mandate at places like airports, on planes, buses and trains.  

Charleston resident Martec Washington says it’s about time something is being done.  

“I’m thankful somebody finally takes COVID serious. I’m thankful that this little thing right here is going to start protecting people and somebody sees that it saves lives,” Washington said.

Although there is a vaccine, health experts say it’s still important for people to still do their part in stopping the spread of the virus.  

“Our focus is that people continue to stay vigilant, continue to wear your mask, social distance, proper hand hygiene – that needs to continue even though the vaccine is rolling out,” Monica Mason, Chief of Medical Services at Kanawha County Ambulance Authority.

Washington says he sees people not following COVID-19 guidelines daily.

 “I still constantly see people without their mask on and it saddens me. Even our officers, 911, paramedics, everybody still doesn’t wear their mask and they don’t take it seriously,” Washington said.

People should also wear the mask properly to ensure effectiveness.   

“A facial covering or a cloth mask is appropriate. They do need to just insure they have a mask that does fit them,” Mason said.

Even though Washington says he’s tired of wearing the masks, he says it’s worth it for the safety of the community.  

“I would hate to have to wear these masks longer than we’ve been doing it, but we’ve been wearing them for about a year now. I’d rather wear them 100 more days, 200 more days, than lose any more lives,” Washington said.

President Biden does not have the legal authority to implement a nationwide mandate that would require all Americans to wear a mask all the time. That is left up to state and local authorities.  

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