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Sault library drops mask mandate due to public pressure

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Sault Ste. Marie's public library has removed its masking mandate, after lengthy debate and public pressure.

According to its executive director, Matthew MacDonald, one of the factors behind its decision was the threat of backlash and protest that could put staff in danger.

"What was happening in the community and how people felt about the mandate, it was a very mixed view on that," said MacDonald. "I'm not putting my staff in the uncomfortable position of asking people who may be a bit aggressive to put on a mask and to follow the policy. And I have to take into account not only my staff's physical health but their mental health also."

The library operates independently from the City of Sault Ste. Marie, but still tries to follow suit with it, as a division of the municipality.

"The city dropping its mandate was discussed, that led us to feel more comfortable about the situation," MacDonald added. "It's also in line with what libraries across the province are doing."

Most users of the library and staff have been choosing to still wear their masks anyway, he said.

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