(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) People can no longer say they can't wear a mask in bars and restaurants because of a health condition following a revision to the city's mask mandate on Friday.
Mayor Bill McMurray signed an amended Declaration and Order putting the revision into effect immediately.
The revision only applies to restaurants and bars.
"Persons entering a restaurant or tavern will no longer be able to remove their face covering or mask claiming a medical exemption," the city posted on its Facebook page.
Masks and face coverings can only be removed while eating or drinking.
The city said the revision was made due to the rising number of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Buchanan County. As of Thursday, 5,402 have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. Sixty-five people have died, including 11 in one week.
"This amendment is in place for the safety of the public at large and of those with actual medical conditions," the city stated. "The measure also addresses a recent increasing trend that has been reported in the transmission of COVID-19 in restaurants and taverns, and has been taken in an effort to avoid more restrictive measures such as closures, curfews, or capacity limitations in restaurants or taverns. "
The medical condition exemption still applies to grocery stores, pharmacies, and medical offices.
The city's mask mandate requires people to wear face coverings in indoor public places where it's difficult to maintain six-foot social distancing.