SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — After nearly a year of covered faces, Springfield City Council decided to get rid of all indoor masking requirements starting May 27 at 11:59 p.m. in the city. This day is following the last day of school for K through 12 students in Springfield.

“We need to spend these next two weeks working hard to improve our vaccination rates as we wrap up school and continue to mask in order to protect our children,” said Katie Towns, acting director of Springfield- Greene County Health Department. “We ask unvaccinated individuals to please seek opportunities to get vaccinated so we can truly put this pandemic in the rearview mirror.”

Outdoor masking requirements were lifted immediately after the vote of the council.

This decision to lift the mandate comes after the CDC recommended fully vaccinated people no longer be required to wear a mask or social distance.

Towns said the Springfield community likely won’t reach 70% vaccinated to get the herd immunity and its becoming clear COVID-19 will continue to exist in the community.

The Council heard some public comment on the bill before the vote and all who commented were in favor of repealing the masking mandate, including councilwoman Angela Romine.

“People really just want to get back to their lives,” said Romine. “They want to, you know, go to cardinals games. They want to be able to go and get personal service without having to worry about getting harassed whether or not they’re not wearing a mask.”

Since the bill has passed, it will be up to business owners to decide if they will require masking beginning May 27.

As of May 17, 35% of Greene County residents ages 16 and up is vaccinated.