Springfield City Council approves date for ending masking mandate

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:22 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield City Council voted Monday evening to end the city’s masking mandate at 11:59 p.m. on May 27.

City leaders instituted the masking policy in mid-July. The council’s vote was 8-0.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department Interim-Director Katie Towns proposed ending the masking mandate on May 27 at 11:59 p.m. last week. The date happens to be the last day of school for Springfield Public Schools.

Monday’s vote also immediately repealed outdoor masking requirements.

“The evidence, it continues to become more and more clear. We had mountains of evidence when we passed our initial ordinance that showed the effectiveness of masking and disease spread,” said Towns.

Not everyone agrees.

During the public hearing Monday night, Heather Dietz, spoke out against the masking ordinance. She has addressed council on the matter for months.

“Why is it ok that we have to wear a mask today but in two weeks we don’t have to wear a mask. The propaganda that the council has endorsed over the past year needs to stop. The council needs to let its citizens make their own health decisions,” she said.

Nearly 30,000 Greene Countians have tested positive for COVID-19, and 430 people have died from it since the virus was first confirmed in Greene County in March 2020.

Public and other health officials recommend that people get vaccinated, and that those who are not vaccinated continue to wear masks and physically distance while in public. Since April 9, all Missourians ages 16 and older have been eligible to receive the vaccine. By the end of May, ALL individuals 16 and older will have had seven weeks to get at least their first dose of vaccine. As of Thursday, children ages 12-15 are eligible. There have been – and continue to be – many opportunities for individuals to seek vaccine. If someone wants vaccinated, they can get vaccinated today. Based on current projections, Towns does not expect to reach the next vaccine milestone of 50% of eligible individuals being fully vaccinated until later this summer. Nearly 35% of the county is fully-vaccinated.

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