Branson extends mask mandate, Branson PD continues to enforce controversial ordinance

Branson police officers have written only two tickets to people refusing to wear a face covering in the last two and a half months.
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 4:05 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - Branson police officers have written only two tickets to people refusing to wear a face covering in the last two and a half months. This week, city leaders extended the mask mandate indefinitely.

“A lot of people have them. A lot of people don’t,” Branson Visitor Kevin Bryant said.

Wearing a mask in most public places has been a city law since late July.

“With glasses, it kind of steams up. It’s kind of a nuisance,” Branson Visitor Jonathan Weir said.

Many cities across the nation also have mask mandates.

“It’s even worse in Wisconsin right now,” Bryant said.

The topic is a controversy basically everywhere.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that we all have to participate in this,” Bryant said.

However, after hearing again from local health leaders, Branson aldermen voted earlier this week to extend Branson’s mask ordinance.

“Masking works. Our local data shows that it curtails the spread of COVID,” Cox Medical Center Branson President William Mahoney said.

Failing to wear a mask where it is required can result in a $100 citation. However, Branson police say, so far, they haven’t had any major issues enforcing the law. Officers have written only two tickets to people and businesses who don’t comply. A spokesperson for Branson Police Department says the first step of enforcement is education, telling people what the law is before making them pay.

“I’ve not really heard where someone has asked someone to wear it but we are complying,” Weir said.

The issue of masking certainly hasn’t been without contention. Mahoney posted a message on Facebook thanking Branson PD for intervening when a group of people confronted him following the aldermen meeting on Tuesday. During that meeting, he also spoke about how hospital staff have been treated for requiring masks.

“The amount of violence people are having towards our staff. Walking in and spitting in their face. Ma’am or sir, could you please wear a mask? Punching them,” Mahoney said.

While some people are reacting to that extreme. Police say most people in Branson mask up without complaint, even If they don’t agree.

“We are adhering to the rules,” Bryant said.

If you see businesses not requiring masks or individuals in Branson not wearing masks where they’re required, you can report it by calling 911.

To see the complete Branson mask ordinance, click here.

For frequently asked questions about Branson’s mask ordinance, click here.

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