mask mandate

City council is set to vote on Monday on an extension to Springfield's mask mandate. 

The Springfield City Council is set to vote Monday, Oct. 5 on phase 3B of Springfield’s Road to Recovery, which would extend Springfield’s mask ordinance for public spaces through Jan. 9, 2021.

According to an Oct. 1 press release from the city of Springfield, a new ordinance will be discussed in an emergency bill.

Emergency legislation can be passed by the city council the same day it's introduced, whereas regular bills go through at least a two week process, according to Springfield city clerk Anita Cotter.

The new ordinance would also raise special event capacities from 25% to 50%, according to Melissa Haase, assistant director of public information and civic engagement.

Extending the masking mandate is a response to the increase of COVID-19 case numbers over the past few months, according to the bill.

The Greene County Health Department recommended in a Sept. 28 memo that the current Road to Recovery phase is to be extended based on other communities lifting mask requirements too early. 

The memo states that Joplin had a mask mandate from July 11 through Aug. 17, and after a month of the mandate being lifted, the city saw a 201% increase in COVID-19 case numbers.

“By comparison, Greene County’s growth during the same time period was 120%,” the memo stated. “If our growth rate was the same as Joplin’s during this same time period, it would have added an additional 700 cases to Greene County’s total case count.” 

The health department said churches are a good example of how successful masking is for COVID-19 prevention, as churches make up less than 2% of overall cases in Greene County, according to the press release. 

Springfield City Council will meet on Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

The live stream of the city council meeting can be viewed here

Citizens interested in voicing an opinion on the issue can call the City Clerk’s Office at 417-874-2460 or send in comments here.

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