Joplin Mayor Ryan Stanley asked to reconsider masks by healthcare organizations

Joplin News First

UPDATE: Wednesday afternoon the agenda was posted for the Special Meeting scheduled for Thursday evening of the Joplin City Council. On the agenda. Will the Joplin City Council go back to masking?

ORDINANCE-EMERGENCY
ORDINANCE NO. 2020-011 – AN ORDINANCE requiring persons to wear a
face covering that covers the nostrils and mouth to help restrict the spread of the
COVID-19 virus; creating exemptions; establishing enforcement; and containing
an emergency clause.

Joplin News First plans to carry the 6:00 PM meeting live! on Facebook. Read the agenda by clicking below.


JOPLIN, Mo. — Monday night at the end of the Joplin City Council regular meeting Mayor Ryan Stanley talked briefly regarding a letter he received from local healthcare organizations urging local elected officials to implement mask ordinances.

“We did get a letter from our health partners within the community. Mercy, Freeman, KCU, Community Clinic, Access Family Care, and also the Jasper County Health Director. The bottom paragraph in bold: ‘People follow rules and they follow leaders and we urge you to take lead on this issue and ultimately enact another mask mandate for the cities of Joplin, Webb City, Carl Junction, Carthage, Neosho, and all of Jasper and Newton Counties.'”

The mayor read that from the healthcare plea letter and then went on to state, “[I] certainly don’t have any desire to speak to necessarily the operations of Webb City, Carl, Carthage or Neosho. But we are in Jasper and in Newton Counties. And with your permission (glancing left and right) I’d like to reach out to the county leaders and ask them where they are in their feelings towards this letter and see where that takes us.”

CLICK TO READ 💻 Carl Junction, Webb City and Carthage respond to healthcare letter in joint statement.

On Tuesday Mayor Stanley released the following printed letter to the media.

As Mayor, I recently received a letter from healthcare organizations and providers in southwest Missouri noting the significant challenges they are currently facing due to the coronavirus. They noted the substantial increase their facilities are experiencing in the number of citizens presenting with illness, including both coronavirus and other high-risk conditions. Due to the rise of patients confirmed with COVID-19 in these facilities, each are facing complex adversities including reduced capacity. This decrease puts everyone in our community at risk.

The City of Joplin had implemented a mask mandate in the past, which our healthcare leaders recognized as a tool that helped keep COVID-19 hospitalizations at a manageable level. Their letter is asking for the City of Joplin, and all of Jasper County and Newton County along with the municipalities in these counties to pass a mask mandate to help decrease the spread.

We appreciate our healthcare leaders reaching out to us for assistance. This is an opportunity to work together in collaboration with our neighboring communities to act in unison to combat the spread of COVID-19.

At the close of last night’s Council meeting, I received confirmation from the Council to contact the county commissioners to learn their intended next step in this matter. The Joplin City Council cannot affect other cities’ actions, however as a municipality that sits in both Jasper and Newton counties, I am contacting the commissioners to discuss the possibility of collaboration among all. Once I have had a discussion with the leadership of both counties, I will update Joplin City Council, and we will discuss how we want to proceed further.

We are encouraged that we can make a difference as a region, to decrease the transmission of COVID-19 that is affecting our citizens in each of our communities.

JOPLIN MAYOR RYAN STANLEY

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