The Falmouth Town Council voted 4-3 Monday night against enacting an emergency ordinance that would have required people to wear masks or other face coverings in all public buildings, except houses of worship.

After a lengthy public hearing, Councilors Ted Asherman, Janice de Lima, Jay Trickett and Chairwoman Hope Kuhn voted against the mask mandate. Councilors Hope Cahan, Peter Lafond and Tommy Johnson voted for it.

Several councilors raised concerns about enforcement.

“Is that actually something we can police? I don’t think it’s practical,” de Lima said.

Trickett questioned whether the benefits of  a mandate would outweigh the cost. He said his 5-year-old son doesn’t remember the last time he went into a public place and saw a person’s face.

Cahan said she felt as though the council was letting down health care workers, who supported a mandate.

Kuhn said the issue will be put on the council’s February meeting agenda for another round of review and discussion. In the meantime, mask use in public buildings in Falmouth will remain voluntary.

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