Wendy Root Askew Mask

Board of Supervisors Chair Wendy Root Askew was the lone no vote in advancing the private desalination plant question. 

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors majority that tried and failed to get a mask mandate urgency ordinance passed with a four-fifths vote a week ago succeeded today with their three votes for a modified ordinance—with a catch.

The catch is that the requirement to wear masks indoors in public spaces will only be triggered if Covid-19 transmission rates are "substantial or high" as defined by the Centers for Disease Control.

Currently the county's transmission rate is considered "low" by the CDC for the time period of Sept. 6-12.

Once triggered, the mandate would go into effect across the county, including cities, and would remain in effect for 30 days.

Chair Wendy Root Askew and supervisors Mary Adams and Luis Alejo voted in favor of the ordinance, which will come back for a final vote on Sept. 21. It  will go into effect 31 days later on Oct. 22.

Supervisors Chris Lopez and John Phillips voted against the ordinance as they did against the urgency ordinance last week on Sept. 8. Lopez said at that time he couldn't support it because it went against County Health Officer Edward Moreno. The doctor declined to enforce a mask mandate in the face of a falling case rate. 

Today Lopez said he would not rehash his comments. "I've already expressed my point. I can count to three," he said.

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