City of Joplin Addresses FAQs About New Mask Ordinance

(Joplin, MO) – While in the City of Joplin, persons will need to wear a face covering when:

  • inside public facilities or businesses that are open to the public,
  • riding in public transportation vehicles, or
  • outside when social distancing is not possible in groups of ten (10) or more persons who are not members of the same family or household.

A face covering is not required in areas of public facilities or businesses that are closed to the public, such as private individual offices.

Who is required to wear a face mask?

All persons six (6) years old or older who are present in the City of Joplin shall wear a face covering as noted in the settings listed above.

What type of face covering is required?

Face covering is defined as a cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth or a full face shield. It can be a sewn mask secured with ties or straps around the head or behind the ears; multiple layers of fabric tied around the head; made from a variety of materials, such as fleece, cotton, or linen; or factory-made or made from household items.

When does this ordinance go into effect?

This ordinance is effective at 6 a.m. on Saturday, July 11, 2020 and shall remain in effect until August 17, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., unless extended or terminated prior to that date by the Mayor or City Council.

Are there any exemptions made for face coverings?

Exceptions for face coverings will be made under the following circumstances:

  • For those who fall into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for those who should not wear face coverings due to a medical condition, mental health condition, developmental disability, or are otherwise covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act; or
  • For children under 6 years old; or
  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering; or
  • For bar or restaurant patrons while they are dining or consuming drink; or
  • For engaging in organized group or team sports, exercise or other physical activities where it is not practicable or feasible to wear a mask or socially distance; or
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services, such as the receipt of dental services or medical treatments.

Why is this ordinance necessary?

The Joplin City Council has determined that the orders and advisories included in this ordinance are necessary to preserve the peace and order of the City of Joplin, and to protect life and to promote and preserve public safety and welfare, in particular to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and provide essential protections to Joplin residents, including but not limited to those who are most vulnerable to infection, while still preserving the availability of essential services.

How will citizens entering businesses know whether they are required to wear a face covering in the facility?

All public facilities and businesses that are open to the public are required to post a sign at all entrances that masks are required to be worn inside the business.

Sign templates are available through theJoplin Area Chamber of Commerce website.

Can a business deny someone entry into their business for noncompliance of this ordinance?

Businesses have the right to refuse service for failure to comply, if there are no exceptions under this ordinance.

How will this ordinance be enforced?

The City of Joplin has hereby determined that local law enforcement and other city officials will act in a support capacity to businesses that need to enforce the use of masks upon their premises.

Enforcement of this ordinance shall focus first on educating and working to promote the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19. A person or business shall be notified of the provisions of this ordinance and will be provided an opportunity to explain an exception or follow the guidelines prior to issuance of any citation or other enforcement action.

The Joplin City Council specifically orders that enforcement of this ordinance shall therefore be administered by first education and an opportunity for compliance, followed by a warning, and a civil citation, only if necessary.

How much will the fine be if someone receives a citation for disobeying this ordinance?

Under the Joplin City Council’s authority for enforcement of a violation of face coverings, the City Council specifically orders that a violation of this ordinance under Joplin’s City Code, Section 1-5, is punishable by a fine of $0 to $50 dollars, at the court’s discretion.

Public Health Reminder:

Facial covering is only part of a toolkit—washing hands, practicing respiratory etiquette, and most importantly, staying at home as much as possible is all of vital importance.

The use of a cloth face covering may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it, from transmitting it to others. It is important that the face coverings are used properly, and that physical distancing and handwashing guidelines are still followed.

More information about face coverings is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website



Lynn Iliff Onstot, Public Information Officer
City of Joplin
417.624.0820, ext. 204


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