(Joplin, MO) – In a special session held on July 8, the Joplin City Council revisited an ordinance requiring residents in the City of Joplin to wear a face mask in public facilities. After hearing testimonies from several medical professionals from Mercy Hospital and Freeman Health System, as well as statements from residents, the ordinance was passed in a 6-3 vote.
Originally, the measure was presented on June 24 during a special meeting, but was denied in a 5-4 vote, and was presented again during a Council session on July 6. Since those meetings, the ordinance was revised to allow residents to wear face shields as an alternative to masks and to lower the proposed violation fine from a maximum of $150 to a maximum of $50.
Starting on July 11, all residents, 6 years old or older, are required to wear masks inside public facilities and businesses in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals participating in outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people who are not family members will also be required to wear masks if social distancing is not possible. Those with medical conditions or religious beliefs that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt from the order. The ordinance will last until August 17, unless it is terminated early or extended by the Council.
To help local businesses meet this requirement, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce has created signs for businesses to print and use. They can be downloaded for free at joplincc.com/responding-to-covid-19/.
The ordinance may be read in its entirety here.
Lynn Iliff Onstot, Public Information Officer
City of Joplin
417.624.0820, ext. 204