Branson leaders to consider extending mask mandate

The Branson Board of Aldermen held a special meeting, ahead of an expected vote regarding the face coverings ordinance on Tuesday.
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 3:40 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - Branson city leaders are considering whether or not to extend the mask mandate.

On Thursday, the Branson Board of Aldermen held a special meeting, ahead of an expected vote regarding the face coverings ordinance on Tuesday, September 8.

The ordinance now required anyone older than 13 must wear a mask anytime they can’t stay six feet away from other people.

Some visitors to Branson think it’s time for that rule to go, but others think the mandate is a good thing for public health.

“I don’t like it,” John Shackleford said.

“It’s probably needed,” Tommy Boatwright said.

“I am not really fond of it. I think it should be, if you want to wear one, fine,” Sadee Arnold said.

City leaders are expected to decide on Tuesday whether or not to continue to make people in Branson wear a face covering anywhere, inside and outside, where social distancing isn’t possible.

“We are obviously doing something right. Our numbers are getting better. Our efforts are having an impact, which is great,” Taney County Health Department Director Lisa Marshall said.

Marshall told aldermen during the special meeting Thursday that since the ordinance took effect on July 31st, the rate at which new cases are coming in has decreased in Taney County.

“At one point, we were receiving anywhere from 20 to 40 cases a day. Now, we are seeing far fewer. So, our average right now is anywhere from 10 to 15,” Marshall said.

Aldermen also heard findings from recent research about tourism. The survey found that 84 percent of Branson travelers are more likely or just as likely to visit cities with mask mandates. Only 16 percent of people surveyed say they’re less likely to visit places with those ordinances.

“It makes me think twice about shopping. Otherwise, we were already scheduled to come since March,” Arnold said. “I thought, I’m not going to let it ruin my vacation.”

Aldermen will consider this information before the meeting on Tuesday.

“We still stand by those preventative measures such as wearing the face coverings,” Marshall said.

Thursday’s meeting was a study session, so aldermen did not hear comments from the public.

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