Snohomish County Councilmember: Mask mandate another example of ‘moving goalposts’

Aug 11, 2021, 5:10 AM
A sign advises shoppers to wear masks outside of a store in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Snohomish County is going to be reinstituting their mask mandate this week for all residents, regardless of their vaccination status. But Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that he does not support this move.

“I think this is unreasonable and I think it’s just another example of what you and I have been talking about for the past year or so of moving goalposts that we’re seeing,” Nehring said. “And so I think it’s really frustrating.”

Nehring also says he did not get advance notice of this new mandate, that he got an email just 10 minutes before it was publicized.

“It was a decision that appears to have been made by our health officer at the Snohomish Health District, and it was not brought to the attention of the Board of Health or the County Council — I have an email here that looks like it was 10 minutes prior to the to the publication of it,” Nehring said. “And so I’m not sure what went into the decision, who was talked about behind the scenes, but I was not involved in any of those conversations.”

Nehring added that he believes it’s a good idea to go to elected officials, depending on the issue at hand.

“I am disappointed that this seems to have been made unilaterally. Again, it could have had more people involved in the decision, but I was not involved as a board of health member, or as a county councilmember,” he clarified.

He also believes that by including more people at the table is how you get balanced policy and not rushing something forward.

So, with the new mask mandate, how concerned is Nehring with the level of cases in Snohomish County, as well as the level of vaccinations?

“The case counts have been increasing, so that’s a concern,” he said. “But, like we’ve talked about before, the vaccines have been widely available for several months now. And so anybody who is concerned about the virus or who is at high risk has had ample opportunity to get vaccinated. I’m not nearly as concerned now as I was prior to the vaccine being available, when older folks and other high-risk populations didn’t have vaccination to keep them safe.”

“I think we’re in a different circumstance now and, again, it just feels like continuing to move the goalposts,” he added.

As far as the potential for a vaccine mandate for employees in Snohomish County — following the lead of the state and King County’s announced mandate Monday — Nehring says he hopes the county isn’t next.

Local leaders speak out after Gov. Inslee’s vaccine mandate

“I did see a quote either from Executive [Dave] Somers or from one of the staff members that said that they had decided not to do that at this time,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that they couldn’t do that in the future. But I would strongly oppose something like that.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Snohomish County Councilmember: Mask mandate another example of ‘moving goalposts’