JOPLIN, Mo. — Just before ten Wednesday night, an amended ordinance failed by a 5 to 4 vote.
More than a dozen residents spoke before council, expressing opposition to the ordinance.
Several council members said while they believed people should wear a mask, they didn’t think it should be mandated.
They were also concerned about how the police department would be able to enforce the ordinance.
The council made changes to the ordinance which included removing language requiring people to wear mask when they left their home or having to wear them outside.
They also lowered the fine for violating the ordinance to less than 250-dollars.
While an overwhelming number of council members approved the changes, they failed to pass the ordinance.
In a press conference Monday morning, Joplin Mayor Ryan Stanley says Joplin City Council will meet Wednesday, June 24th at 6pm to discuss the rise in cases in Joplin’s region.
That could include a face mask ordinance or even moving backwards from the re-opening plan.
Although, Stanley says they are not being recommended moving backwards and will likely not move backward in the re-opening plan.
He encourages social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks.
Joplin now sits at 91 total cases of COVID-19.
52 of those cases are active, with 39 recovered.
There are no deaths.
Here is some of the ordinance discussed tonight.
AN ORDINANCE to require persons to wear facemasks that cover the nostrils and mouth to help restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus, to establish reasonable exemptions, to set practical enforcement conditions; and containing an emergency clause.
WHEREAS, on March 18, 2020, the Mayor declared a civil emergency because of the threat COVID-19 poses to the public health; and
WHEREAS, the spread of the COVID-19 virus has been accelerating in the City of Joplin and in Jasper and Newton Counties; and
WHEREAS, one key transmission method for the COVID-19 virus is through respiratory droplets that people expel when they breathe, speak, cough, or sneeze. Moreover, people can be infected with the COVID-19 virus and be asymptomatic but still be contagious. People can also be infected and contagious 48 hours before developing symptoms when they are pre-symptomatic. Many people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and do not recognize they are infected and contagious, and they can unintentionally infect others; and
WHEREAS, numerous epidemiologists have insisted that widespread use of a face mask is necessary to prevent the more rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially when humans gather in groups, and thereby necessary for the safety and health of Joplin citizens, residents, and visitors