(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- St. Joseph mayor Bill McMurray has signed an order to eliminate the city's mask mandate effective Tuesday night at midnight.
The mayor made it official immediately following a city council vote on a resolution giving their support to eliminating the mandate.
The vote was 5-4 in favor of the resolution, council members Madison Davis, PJ Kovac, Marty Novak, Kent O'Dell, and Gary Roach voting yes.
The mask mandate order had been in place since last July. The mayor has said that he would use new Covid case numbers as well as hospitalizations at Mosaic Life Care to guide him in his decision to end the mandate.
Covid in-patient numbers at Mosaic have been in the single digits for the past several weeks compared to more than 90 at its peak a couple months ago. Also, the St. Joseph Health Department released new numbers today showing only 18 new Covid-19 cases since last Thursday.
"I think the numbers tells us its time," said council member Marty Novak, who voted in support of eliminating the mandate. "Talking with people tells us its time. You know the whole purpose of the masking mandate is to ensure that our healthcare institutions are not overwhelmed and they are not."
Despite the mandate being eliminated, St. Joseph businesses will still have the option to require their patrons to wear a mask if they so choose.