ON YOUR SIDE: Which cities still require masks in southwest Missouri? Plus how soon some mandates could end

Published: Mar. 21, 2021 at 10:49 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2021 at 10:51 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - To mask or unmask? That’s a key question many communities in southwest Missouri could address in the upcoming weeks.

Missouri has not required face masks statewide since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March. However, many cities and counties issued mask mandates in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have declined in Missouri, while vaccinations are on the rise. If these trends continue, some communities could be one step closer to lifting mask mandates.

According to the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who are fully vaccinated can enjoy small gatherings again without a mask where mandates are not required.

However, those who are fully vaccinated should continue wearing a mask and social distancing in public, especially in larger gatherings or around high-risk people who may not be vaccinated. The CDC expects to update the guidance to allow more activities as infections decline and vaccinations increase nationwide.

Until then, here’s a look at which communities in southwest Missouri still require face coverings, in addition to potential dates for when such orders could expire:


Springfield adopted one of the first mask mandates in Missouri last year, starting July 16. City leaders have extended the mandate several times, the latest which calls for city-wide masking through April 9, 2021.


City leaders in Branson approved a plan to repeal the mask ordinance through 12:01 a.m. on April 16.


Marshfield’s mask ordinance expires on March 31.


Monett approved a mask mandate on Dec. 3. The mandate was expected to end in February, but has since been extended to April 30.


The city of Nixa announced it will end its masking ordinance at 11:59 p.m. on April 30.


Ozark issued a masking ordinance on Oct. 19. The ordinance, which was initially expected to expire on Dec. 30, has since been extended on April 30.


West Plains mask ordinance expires on March 31.

NOTE: As of March 20, the only notable communities in southwest Missouri that have lifted mask mandates are Clinton, Forsyth and Joplin.

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