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Portland City Council Postpones Vote On Reinstating Mask Mandate Until Next Week

Virus Outbreak Maine
Robert F. Bukaty
A woman wears a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus while walking on a rainy day, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Portland, Maine.

The City of Portland has postponed a vote on whether to reinstate a mask mandate until next week.

The Portland City Council took up the issue at a meeting on Monday night, but decided to delay a vote after councilors sought more information on city-wide transmission rates and how the order would be enforced.

"When I think about the practicality of enforcement, that's a whole other issue that I think, as a city council, we're responsible for understanding how our HHS department would actually be the enforcers," said Portland Mayor Kate Snyder.

The mandate would apply to any public, indoor spaces, but would offer few exceptions, including when people are actively eating or drinking, or if someone is performing.

Several businesses also pushed back on the action and expressed concerns that some customers would choose to dine in other cities instead of eating in Portland.

The council is scheduled to consider the mandate once again at a meeting next Monday.