One day after a school council meeting in Walla Walla, Washington, a council meeting there was closed by a large anti-mask crowd over a person who protested the COVID-19 mask requirement.
About 100 people crowded the council chambers on Wednesday, at least in part because of false rumors about a citywide vaccination mandate, the Walla Walla Union Bulletin reported.
In reality, the council planned to discuss a federal vaccination mandate for large employers that elected officials believe could apply to city employees.
After Mayor Tom Scribner told the crowd that masks were available and required, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and demanded to know what authority Scribner was to dictate at the meeting.
Last month, Governor Jay Inslee announced a nationwide mask mandate for indoor public spaces – regardless of vaccination status – to slow the rise in COVID-19 cases, mainly in unvaccinated people.
Scribner told the newspaper he tried to explain the request, but the woman continued to say he did not have the authority to request masks and others in the crowd started yelling.
Scribner said he asked an officer to escort the woman out, but the group refused to leave, arguing the officer did not have the authority.
City guides with police advice ended the meeting.
The main way the coronavirus spreads is through droplets that are expelled when you speak, scream, cough, and sneeze. Masks reduce the chances that these droplets will reach other people.