As of Thursday night, the city of Indianola is once again under a facemask mandate.
The five-member panel of the Indianola Board of Aldermen voted 4-1 to reinstate the declaration as part of the city's emergency ordinance, but not change any of the other provisions.
Alderman Gary Fratesi made the motion and Alderman Darrell Simpson casted the only no vote.
"I don't have an issue here with mandating it, but we have no way of enforcing it?" Simpson said.
At the onset of Thursday's meeting, Mayor Steve Rosenthal began by saying, "I don't know if anybody is looking at the numbers, but we are starting to see the Delta variant come to Indianola and the Mississippi Delta. So, I am hoping that as we review it, we would consider to go back to the mask mandate and let's see how things continue."
He said, "We are one of the lowest states of vaccination rates and nobody can complain it's from lack of supply because you can go to the grocery store almost and get a vaccination now."
According to City Attorney Kim Merchant the current language of the city's emergency proclamation simply states that it "strongly encourages" the practice of wearing face coverings in addition to social distancing guidelines.
Fratesi also asked that the police chief have the officers to tell and remind the citizens that the mask mandate has been reinstated and issue a verbal warning to them. They discussed several dates to initiate the start of the restriction and resolutely decided that it should begin immediately.
Rosenthal also made an appeal for the citizens to get vaccinated.
"It is a freedom of choice, whether you get vaccinated or not. If you don't want to do it for yourself, think about somebody that lives with you, a family member and consider going ahead and getting vaccinated because it is a life and death situation."
During his brief appeal, Rosenthal further stated, "We can't police whether somebody is vaccinated or not, but we all need to stress the point that is life and death.