Mask Mandate Passes, Strikes Nerve With Attendees

(Farmington, Mo) - The Centene Center was a buzz with people both for and against a mandatory mask mandate for St Francois County Tuesday afternoon. Over 100 people showed up, many carrying signs and even the American Flag with them in protest over wearing a mask. 

Numerous people signed up to speak on the mask mandate, most against the idea.  Two minutes were allowed per speaker, and a 30 minute time limit was allowed for the public to speak. The crowd against masks were vocal during those who spoke that were in favor of wearing a mask.  St Francois County Health Department's Board of Directors had to remind attendees to be quiet when proponents for a mask mandate were speaking to the board.

In the end, the board voted in favor to pass a mask mandate which will be for the next 30 days, making masks mandatory county wide, but the vote was not unanimous. The mandate will go into effect on September 21st, 2020.  The mask mandate can be enforced by local police and deputies.  All businesses, public buildings, schools, and events are required to enforce the mask mandate for the next thirty days. 

St Francois County ranks among the highest in the nation among Micropolitan and Metropolitan areas of at least 50,000 or more.  There have been nearly 1600 positive cases since March 22, of which 725 are currently active cases within the entire county as of the last report on Monday, September 14, 2020.