JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin city council members approve an emergency ordinance that requires people to wear masks in public places. The decision came buried under more than 20 community member requests to approach the council. Input from business owners, medical professionals and leaders with area schools. Finally, after nearly five hours of discussion and a few revisions, the council came to a 6-3.

The Details


  • The ordinance will go into effect on Saturday, July 11 at 6:00 am
  • It is set to expire on August 18 unless extended or shortened by the council

What Constitutes as a Face Covering?

  • Face masks that cover the nose and mouth
  • Multiple layers of fabric (including fleece, cotton, or wool) secured around the head
  • Face

The BasicsWho Should Wear a Mask?

Anyone over the age of six is required to wear a mask when:

  • Attending businesses, organizations, and city facilities open to the public
  • Using public transportation
  • Outside with a group of 10 people or more who are not members of the same household AND are in a situation where social distancing guidelines cannot be followed

Are there Exclusions?

Exceptions for masks and face coverings will be made to anyone who:

  • Cannot cover their face due to a health condition or disability
  • Is a child under the age of 6
  • Has religious beliefs that prevent them from wearing a face covering
  • Is eating or drinking at a bar or restaurant
  • Is exercising
  • Is receiving services where their face cannot be covered (like dental work)

Businesses and Organizations

  • Businesses and public facilities must post a sign at all entrances requiring masks to be worn while inside. Additionally, staff with the Chamber of Commerce are working to distribute signage to area businesses
  • Businesses may refuse service to those who refuse to comply
  • Schools within the city will work with the Joplin Health Department to develop safety protocols


  • The city will take an “education first” enforcement and work with residents to ensure they understand the provisions prior to any citation
  • Further violations can result in a warning and a fine of up to $50