(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) During Thursday's city work session, St. Joseph city leaders voted to not issue a citywide face mask mandate.
A decision that Mosaic Life Care, a local hospital, said they disagree with, “Our stance here at Mosaic, we do recommend that we mandate the wearing of masks in our area, in St. Joe,” said Dr. Davin Turner, Chief Medical Officer at Mosaic Life Care.
Since St. Joseph has fully reopened without COVID-19 restrictions in place, Mosaic is reporting an uptick in hospitalizations.
On Thursday, Mosaic reported 20 hospitalizations, including five patients in the ICU.
Medical professionals attribute the increase in coronavirus cases to lack of safety guidelines being followed in the city, “All you have to do is go to pretty much any place here in St. Joe and see very little masks being worn, so it was expected," said Turner.
Mosaic physicians said they believe if more people wore face masks, COVID-19 cases would decrease. They said wearing a face mask inhibits the transmission of water droplets, which medical professionals said is the easier and more likely way to contract the coronavirus.
“We know that COVID-19 is transmitted via the water droplets that come out of your nose and your mouth. We don’t believe that it is so much on the surface, as much as it is that droplet. If you sneeze and even when you talk, whether you think about it or not, droplets are going forward into the air. The masks stop that,” said Turner.
Turner said that rather than the city has to look at the option of shutting down the community once again, masks are the best tool to combat the virus and keep the economy healthy.
“Is it 100% perfect? We don’t know that, but again, it’s an inexpensive option that stands a strong possibility of protecting you,” said Turner.
Medical professionals said when wearing a face mask, it should cover one's nose and mouth in order to be effective in preventing the transmission of water droplets.