SPRINGFIELD, Mo- The Springfield City Council voted and passed a citywide masking ordinance on Monday, July 13, 2020.
Council passes $2.1 million in funding for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department to improve COVID-19 response.
Before Monday 84 people signed up to speak, only 61 people showed to the meeting to speak. People have been talking to city council members for about one hour.
Before those 61 people shared why they are for or against the ordinance, Health Director Clay Goddard and Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Robin Trottman spoke.
“In the past 14 days, 21% of our positive cases had been related to community spread. Remember that community spread is when we cannot definitively identify a direct point of exposure. These aren’t people who go out and participate at high-risk areas. These are people who go to grocery stores, or a dinner out, and otherwise is staying home,” said Goddard.
“There’s no other option to contain the disease once public health is overwhelmed. And once we do that, we lose testing capacity and we have sick health care workers and our system will crumble. We’re left with human behavior. That’s our only option to slow this down,” said Dr. Trottman.
Below are a few people who spoke against the masking ordinance:
Ozarks First spoke with those who signed up to voice why they are anti-mask.
“I’m a firm believer that Jesus Christ is the lord, and where the spirit of the lord is, there is liberty, and so in America, we should have the freedom to choose. The elderly are all usually in certain homes, or they’re all quarantining themselves, it’s not like I’m out there high-fiving my elderly family members. We are not going to be wearing a mask.”
“It is not my duty to protect others. You can’t say that this is a threat more than the flu itself. And we don’t shut down the world or the national economy for the flu.”
Below are a few people who spoke in favor of the masking ordinance:
Ozarks First crews also spoke with a pro-mask speaker.
“I believe it’s really important that we follow science, and that we follow the guidance of the CDC, the WHO, and others, who consistently show that wearing a mask stops transmission. If we don’t take the advice of people like Goldman Sachs, who said wearing a mask, it’ll help the economy, we will end up in the same place as California did, where they had to re-shut down things like bars and restaurants again.”
Prior to the meeting, anti-mask protesters gathered in front of City Hall. According to crews on scene there were over 100 protesters at the start of the meeting.
One person crews talked to said she supports anyone that wears a mask but it should be everyone’s choice to wear one or not.
“It’s a 99% recovery rate, the one percent is horrific, of course, we don’t want to see anyone die, but let’s get our stats correct before we start forcing a mandate on the people of Springfield, Missouri.”
One protester says they do not believe the COVID-19 virus is not as harmful as people have been led to believe.
“The science shows that this is not nowhere as serious as we were led to believe. The numbers have been going up; they have been changed; there is no sense apparently. It’s a virus that thrives in a church but not in an abortion clinic, it thrives in a mom and pop establishment but not in a Walmart, there has been no consistency.”
There were people gathered out there who are in favor of the masking ordinance. Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri held a rally a few miles away.
If the masking ordinance is passed, here is what will happen:
- Take effect Thursday, July 16
- Expire in 90 days, unless council changes the date
- Not wearing a face-covering could result in a $100 fine for individuals and businesses
- Anyone older than 12 must wear a covering in public; encouraged for ages 3-11
- People with certain health conditions, trouble breathing, are exempt
The Springfield Airport also announced they will be requiring face masks beginning July 16 the same day the City of Springfield mask mandate will go into affect.