PLACERVILLE (CBS13) – Mask-mandate anger is boiling over in El Dorado County as health officials say they’ve been bombarded with protests.
Monday, adults and children flooded the county health office demanding a change to mask requirements. The protest, led by the parent-led group, Unmask Our Kids El Dorado County, is just one of several from different groups throughout the last year.READ MORE: California COVID-19 Vaccine Lottery $1.5 Million Winners To Be Selected On Tuesday
“We don’t have the power to make the decisions,” said county spokesperson Carla Hass. “The county is just an arm of the state. Everything we have done in terms of the COVID response has mirrored the state.”
Different groups have targeted the county’s public health building during the pandemic with demonstrators demanding looser restrictions. Hass explained the reason their requests are going unanswered is that the county is required to follow the states’ pandemic plans.
“Really, this is an effort to educate the public that if they want to see change, they need to go to where the decisions are being made, and that is at the state level,” Hass said. “We only implement those decisions, we don’t create them.”
Residents upset with the county’s restrictions throughout the pandemic are questioning the county on why they can’t do more.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Will You Get Another Relief Payment?
“I can sympathize with what they are saying but we elected them to represent us so we would love to work with them to reach out to the state,” said Placerville resident Lindsay Moffett.
Moffett organized Monday’s protest with “Unmask Our Kids El Dorado County.” It was the group’s first protest. The demonstration was part of a statewide coordinated effort with parents advocating for optional mask requirements for students regardless of vaccination status.
“For me, I’m watching my kids suffer, my youngest has severe anxiety about going to school,” Moffett explained.
Moffett and more than 100 other frustrated parents and kids filled the El Dorado County Public Health Department chanting with signs with calls to end the mask mandate. Moffett said parents in the group are discussing pulling their kids out of their respected schools if mask requirements remain.
“If we can sit at a restaurant and take off our masks to eat, why can’t they sit at a desk and take their mask off? It’s just not working for us,” she said.MORE NEWS: What You Need To Know About California's Reopening
The group has requested a meeting with the county’s health officer.