STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

City council could reconsider mask ordinance if Covid-19 cases rise

The latest numbers show a steady climb in Covid-19 cases in the county. City leaders want to consider all options as kids head back to school.

Posted: Aug 20, 2020 11:53 PM
Updated: Aug 21, 2020 7:59 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It was a busy Wednesday afternoon for city leaders during this week’s work session on Covid-19.

The city received an update on the virus’ impact locally, the latest numbers they say are unsettling.

As of Wednesday, there were 18 Covid-19 patients in the hospital, of them four were in the intensive care unit, and one is on a ventilator.

Mayor Bill McMurray expressed concern over the rise in local Covid-19 cases.

St. Joseph Health Department staff said the rising numbers show that people who are in contact with someone who tests positive are also catching the virus, or at least showing symptoms.

"What we’re finding are clusters of cases," Debra Bradley, Health director said.  "To me that says a mask order would be beneficial."

As a result of these recent developments, the council is considering taking another look at the city’s mask ordinance.

"I think now is the time before school starts that we have this difficult conversation of having a blanket mask mandate," Brian Myers, city councilman said.  

There’s still a difference of opinion among members however, some say most are against wearing them.

"Two to three percent of people maybe are wearing masks," city councilman PJ Kovac said. "People are against it, I’m against it." 

Perhaps adding to the pressure on city leaders to make a decision, schools in the area will soon be in session. The St. Joseph School District is set to start class August 31st.

The district's superintendent is moving forward on his own plans, requiring masks on school property where social distancing could not be reached. 

Whatever the city wants to go ahead with, councilmembers said they have one goal in mind.

"Any measures we take should be designed to suppress this virus," city councilman Russell Moore said. 

City council members plan to wait for one week before they make a decision on moving ahead with any change in ordinances. They also plan to meet with staff from Missouri Western State University next week. 

St. Joseph
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 64°
Clarinda
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 64°
St. Joseph
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 64°
Chillicothe/Agri
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 62°
Falls City
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 62°
Today will be another warm and sunny day with temperatures making a run for 70 this afternoon. Winds will remain comfortable today out of the south east around 5-10 mph. Clouds will start to build into our area tonight into the overnight hours. Clouds will linger through the first half of our Friday as an area of low pressure passes to the south of our area. Rain chances look to stay well south of our area as well. Temperatures will be a bit cooler on Friday but will quickly warm up again for the weekend. Above average temperatures and sunshine look to continue into next week. Rain chances will start to return to the forecast by the middle of next week.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

Community Events