Nixa City Council votes down masking ordinance

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NIXA, Mo. — After an over four-hour meeting, the Nixa City Council votes down masking ordinance on July 20, 2020, at their City Council meeting.

The mandate would have required masks or face coverings for people in public indoor spaces and is similar to the one passed in Springfield.

The ordinance, if passed, would go into effect for 90 days unless repealed or amended by the council.

An amendment was introduced by Mayor Steele and passed. The amendment allowed performers, presenters and speeches exempt from wearing a mask as long as they practice social distancing.

A separate amendment was introduced by Councilman Peterson to allow exemptions for weddings, funerals and religious services as long as participators were social distancing.

The proposed amendment failed because council members were concerned about weddings and funerals bringing in more people who could potentially carry the virus.

A diverse group of opinions showed up to speak at the meeting to express why the mask ordinance was either a good or bad idea. The City Council is giving each person five minutes to speak.

“Well I’m in healthcare and I specialize in infectious disease and so I know the importance and have seen the numbers rise, seeing what other communities are doing,” said Cindy Edwards, a pro-mask speaker. “We just want to stand up as leaders in our community to say ‘hey we really do have a defense in this.’ We don’t have to stand by and watch these numbers grow. We don’t have to see people succumb to this virus, we could all come together as a community.”

“I do not support it because I am in firm belief the government should not be telling you what you will and will not do with your body or put on your body,” said Jeffery Lee, an anti-mask speaker. “Is it constitutionally sound? Yes it is. But it’s also our constitutionally first amendment right to protest that and not wear them as well.”

This is a developing story.

KOLR10 Reporter Madison Hever is at the meeting and will be providing live updates from her Twitter page:

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