Local health departments react to Missouri Attorney General’s notice to cease masking and quarantine orders

Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - After a Cole County court decision, ruling that masking mandates and quarantine orders are unconstitutional Missouri Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, sent a letter out to health departments across the state.

He gave them a warning: stop issuing public health orders like mask mandates or quarantines or you could face legal action.

“Any kind of information, people should be able to find it easily,” said Amanda Powell.

This has many, like Amanda Powell, wondering why a government entity is trying to limit public health information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re not doctors. They’re not medical professionals. They aren’t educated in that field so they shouldn’t be withholding any kind of medical information,” she said.

In response to the letter several counties, including Christian, Polk, and Laclede have announced they’ve been forced to stop all COVID-19 related work.

They issued statements saying no more case investigations, contact tracing, quarantine orders or public announcements of current cases or deaths.

In addition, some agencies say this ruling could affect how they deal with all highly contagious diseases in the future.

Other agencies, like the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, say they’re waiting for officials are working to better understand what the ruling means before making any decisions.

This has caused confusion and frustration.

“Everybody needs to make the best decisions for their own family. They need all the information to come to their own conclusion,” said Powell.

A representative with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services tells us they are working on putting a plan together but there’s no time frame on when that could get done.

We also contacted the attorney general’s office for comment.

We’re told we may have an opportunity to get our questions about this answered in the near future.

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