Joplin Mask Ordinance passes in 6-3 vote

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — After nearly five hours of discussion and a handful of revisions, Joplin City Council members approve the proposed ordinance which will require people to wear masks while in public.

The council members who voted in-favor were Mayor Ryan Stanley, Mayor Pro-Tem Keenan Cortez, Council Members Christina Williams, Anthony Monteleone, Dr. Diane Reid Adams, and Chuck Copple.

The members who voted against were Gary Shaw, Phil Stinnett, and Doug Lawson.

Nearly a dozen people stepped in front of council while some were in favor, others spoke out against it.

The council also heard from representatives from both Joplin hospitals, as well as other Joplin community leaders and Joplin Schools Superintendent Dr. Melinda Moss.

The ordinance the council is voting on would require anyone ages 6 and up to wear masks, face coverings, or full face shields in public places, including in local businesses and city buses.

The rule would also require people to wear them outside when social distancing guidelines cannot be followed and if they are in a group of 10 people or more who do not live in the same household.

Some exceptions include:

  • Those with health conditions that prevent wearing a mask
  • Religious beliefs
  • When someone is exercising
  • Eating or drinking at a bar or restaurant
  • While receiving some services (like dental work, for example)

Additionally, the law requires businesses to post signs at their entrance mandating the masks, and even gives those businesses the right to refuse service to violators.

Enforcement would take an “Education-First” stance and would give violators the opportunity to comply.

However, all other offenses could result in anything from a warning, up to a $50 fine.

The ordinance goes into effect Saturday morning at 6 a.m. (July 11th) and would expire on August 18, unless extended or terminated by the council at any time.

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 and face.

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