JOPLIN, Mo. — Two weeks ago the Joplin City Council voted “No” on adopting a city-wide mask order. And now two weeks later they pose the same question and spend more than four hours deliberating. The ordinance passes with two council members changing their vote from two weeks ago.
The ordinance will go into effect on Saturday. Free masks will not be available to the public until next week on an unknown date.
- ***MASK ORDINANCE IS APPROVED***
- Read the ordinance in it’s current form by clicking the link.
- Non-compliance: “is punishable by a fine of $0 to $50 dollars, at the court’s discretion.”
- Council Bill No. 2020-004 will go into effect Saturday.
- Free masks will not be available to the public until sometime next week.
- Ordinance will end August 17, 11:59 PM.
The City Council discussed this issue originally during a special meeting held on June 24. The bill was denied with a vote of 5 opposed to 4 in favor. During Council’s regular meeting on Monday, July 6 council members revisited the possibility of a mandatory mask ordinance after receiving an update regarding coronavirus from Assistant Health Director Ryan Talken.
The council bill being discussed at tonight’s meeting does include several changes from the original version, such as having an end date of August 17, 2020 unless extended or terminated prior to that date by Mayor or City Council. [It also reduces the charge when ticketed from $250 lowered to $50.]CITY OF JOPLIN
The number of guests in the Council Chambers is limited to 43 in observance of the social distancing requirement of six feet apart.
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;
WHEREAS, the United States Centers for Disease Control has recommended that members of the
public, when they need to interact with others outside the home, and especially in settings where
many people are present, should cover the mouth and nose to prevent inadvertently spreading
WHEREAS, the City of Joplin finds therefore, that wearing a face covering, in combination with
physical distancing of at least 6 feet and frequent hand-washing, may reduce the risk of
transmitting the COVID-19 virus when in public and engaged in necessary activities by reducing
the spread of respiratory droplets. Therefore, this ordinance requires that people wear face
coverings in certain public settings as further described below.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF JOPLIN,
MISSOURI, as follows:
Section 1. That all persons six (6) years old or older who are present in the City of Joplin shall
wear a face covering when inside public facilities or businesses that are open to the public, public
transportation vehicles and outside when social distancing is not possible in groups of ten (10) or
more persons who are not members of the same family or household. Face covering is defined as
a cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth. It can be a sewn mask secured with ties or
straps around the head or behind the ears; multiple layers of fabric tied around the head; made
from a variety of materials, such as fleece, cotton, or linen; or factory-made or made from
Section 2. Exceptions for face coverings will be made under the following circumstances:
• For those who fall into the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s guidance for those who should not wear face coverings
due to a medical condition, mental health condition, developmental
disability, or are otherwise covered under the Americans with
Disabilities Act; or
• For children under 6 years old; or
• For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face
• For bar or restaurant patrons while they are dining or consuming
• For engaging in organized group or team sports, exercise or other
physical activities where it is not practicable or feasible to wear a
mask or socially distance; or
• In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face
covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services,
such as the receipt of dental services or medical treatments.
Section 3. All public facilities and businesses that are open to the public are required to post a
sign at all entrances that masks are required to be worn inside the business. The City of Joplin has
hereby determined that local law enforcement and other city officials will act in a support capacity
to businesses that need to enforce the use of masks upon their premises.
Section 4. Schools within the City of Joplin shall work with the City Health Department to
implement safety protocols, including the use of face coverings, that can be implemented in a safe
and feasible manner at each grade level to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Section 5. That the Joplin City Council has determined that the orders and advisories included
in this ordinance are necessary to preserve the peace and order of the City of Joplin, and to protect
life and to promote and preserve public safety and welfare, in particular to mitigate the spread of
COVID-19 and provide essential protections to Joplin residents, including but not limited to those
who are most vulnerable to infection, while still preserving the availability of essential services.
Section 6. Enforcement of this ordinance shall focus first on educating and working to
promote the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19. A person or business shall be notified of the
provisions of this ordinance and will be provided an opportunity to explain an exception or follow
the guidelines prior to issuance of any citation or other enforcement action.
Section 7. The Joplin City Council specifically orders that enforcement of this ordinance shall
therefore be administered by first education and an opportunity for compliance, followed by a
warning, and a civil citation, only if necessary.
Section 8. Under the Joplin City Council’s authority for enforcement of a violation of face
coverings, the City Council specifically orders that a violation of this ordinance under Joplin’s
City Code, Section 1-5, is punishable by a fine of $0 to $150 dollars, at the court’s discretion.
Section 9. Businesses have the right to refuse service for failure to comply, if there are no
exceptions under this ordinance.
Section 10. This ordinance is effective at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 11, 2020 and shall remain
in effect until August 17, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., unless extended or terminated prior to that date by
the Mayor or City Council.
Section 11. That the City Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, hereby declares that this
Ordinance, being an Ordinance relating to the immediate preservation of the public peace,
property, health, safety or morals, is considered an emergency within the meaning of Section
2.12(1) of the Home Rule Charter of the City of Joplin, Missouri, and, as such, this Ordinance
shall become effective immediately upon its passage. Specifically, that this ordinance should
become effective without delay because widespread use of a face mask is necessary to prevent the
more rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially when humans gather large public gatherings
will facilitate the spread of a communicable disease, COVID-19.