Town council ends Boone mask mandate

Ethan Hunt, Reporter

The Boone Town Council voted Wednesday to end the state of emergency, which required masks in indoor areas, according to a Town of Boone press release

The state of emergency order, which went into effect Aug. 6, will not officially end until March 7. The town encourages residents to continue wearing masks in public places after the order ends, according to the press release. 

Town council member Dalton George said town council member Virginia Roseman made the motion to dismiss the order, and he seconded it. Town council members Rebecca Nenow, George and Roseman voted in favor, and town council members Todd Carter and Edie Tugman voted against the motion, George said. 

Businesses within the town limits can still enact their own COVID-19 policies, including requiring masks. Boone Police will continue to enforce private businesses’ individual policies, according to the press release. 

The town council will revisit the motion March 9, George said. 

“Obviously, it’s an evolving situation. You never know exactly what’s going to happen, so it’s important to have the conversation, I think,” George said.  

The BTC vote comes after the Watauga County School Board voted in favor of making masks optional Tuesday. Gov. Roy Cooper said towns and schools should consider removing mask mandates Feb. 17. 

As the state’s metrics continue to move in the right direction and with vaccines available, Gov. Cooper encouraged schools and local governments to end their mask mandates,” Cooper tweeted. 

Chancellor Sheri Everts announced Feb. 18 that App State will provide an update soon regarding the university’s COVID-19 policy in response to Cooper’s recommendations. 

Watauga County has 174 positive COVID-19 cases reported in the last five days.