Greene County will not create mask ordinance amid Springfield vote

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 7:15 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2020 at 8:40 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - While Springfield City Council is set to vote on a mask ordinance Monday night, Greene County commissioners say the county will not issue a mask ordinance of its own.

Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon said he feels the county’s current resolution that passed in June, which recommends wearing masks when keeping six feet apart from others is not possible, is best for Greene County as a whole.

“We feel that we can obtain a higher level of compliance with this approach in the other parts of the county,” Dixon said. “And again we remain open to a variety of approaches.”

Dixon said he supports wearing masks and supports the city’s decisions, regardless of how city council votes on the ordinance.

“We’ve been vocal in support of the various things the city of Springfield has undertaken to combat the virus due to the increased density of the population within the city,” he said.

A spokesperson from Republic said the city will not issue a mask ordinance, instead city leaders plan to follow guidelines outlined by the state.

Some businesses in Republic said they think it is possible they could get more visitors from the Springfield area in coming weeks if the ordinance passes, but they said they really will not know for sure until they see how people perceive the ordinance if it passes.

Meanwhile, other neighboring cities are still undecided. A city spokesperson from Strafford said city leaders there plan to pay attention to how the Springfield city council votes, but ultimately will make a decision that is best for Strafford.

“They are continuing to be open to the coversation,” Strafford City Administrator Martha Smartt said. “However at this time their decision has been to remain open to the information that is in the area and compare it to Strafford as well. We just keep an open mind to what is beneficial to the Strafford community.”

Dixon said he thinks people have lost some “civility” during the pandemic. He said he thinks it is important for people to keep in mind that some people may not be able to wear a mask.

“I think what’s important, and I would encourage citizens to exercise tolerance of those who wear masks and tolerance of those who cannot or choose not to. Let’s keep our focus on beating the virus.”

Dixon said he thinks Springfield’s mask ordinance will most likely pass.

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