Springfield City Council extends masking ordinance until January 2021

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield City Council has voted to pass the extension of the masking ordinance.

This extension will last until Jan. 9, 2021, and is a part of Springfield’s “Road to Recovery” part 3B. The ordinance also raises the capacity of special events on public property from 25% to 50% based on square footage of a place or business.

“At the recommendation of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and with the full support of our health care partners in the region, City Council voted to extend the face covering requirement in the city limits of Springfield for another 90 days,” said Mayor Ken McClure. “We must continue to do everything we can to protect ourselves and each other from this disease. We hope that the new year will bring us good news in terms of a vaccine rollout and the return of life as we knew it before COVID-19.”

There are exemptions included, people won’t be fined when they aren’t wearing a mask in the following situations:

  • While consuming food and drink
  • While at a swimming pool
  • While obtaining a service involving the face or nose for which the temporary removal of the face-covering is necessary to perform the service
  • While playing a sport, exercising or using exercising equipment while exerting themselves
  • While working in settings which might increase the risk of heat-related illnesses
  • While outdoors and maintaining a 6-foot distance from others or while outdoors and are closer than six feet to solely members of their own household
  • While speaking, addressing an audience or performing and are able to maintain a 6-foot distance from others
  • While serving as a member of a wedding party during the wedding ceremony and/or taking wedding photos.

The president of Ozarks Technical Community College, The president of Missouri State University and the president of Drury University spoke in favor of the masking ordinance.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department director Clay Goddard also spoke in favor of the extension.

“The Springfield-Greene County Health Department takes an evidence-based approach to protect and promote the health of our community. Evidence continues to underline the effectiveness of wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and as such, is the recommendation of this department,” said Clay Goddard, director of Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

Eighteen residents of Springfield spoke at the meeting. Most of the speakers were not in favor of the ordinance. Comments from residents were posted on the City of Springfield’s Twitter page.

“COVID-19 is taking from us loved ones who had years ahead of them. Having an underlying health condition should not be interpreted as an individual being sick, feeble or infirm,” said Clay Goddard, director of health.  “Many of us live robust lives every day with the underlying health conditions that can make us more at risk to severe complications from this disease. We owe it to each other to faithfully practice watching our distance, wearing our masks and washing our hands.”     

Those not following the rules of the ordinance can result in a $100 fine for individuals, businesses, governments or non-profits. 

The Health Department says Greene County has had more than 7,500 cases of the disease and 89 deaths.

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