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St. Joseph mask mandate to be eliminated

Mayor Bill McMurray signed an order that will eliminate the city's mask mandate Tuesday night at midnight.

Posted: Mar 22, 2021 6:49 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2021 9:16 AM

(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.

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Rain chances return to the forecast today with scattered showers possible mainly throughout the day. Most of the day will end up being dry and cloudy besides a few isolated showers. The rain will be light with most areas seeing around a tenth of an inch of precipitation. Temperatures will remain below average today with highs in the mid to upper 60s. Rain chances will start to increase this weekend with scattered showers likely off and on through the day Saturday. A few thunderstorms could develop as well Saturday afternoon into the evening. The rain will be light to moderate on Saturday with most areas only seeing around a quarter inch precipitation. More moderate to heavy rain is set to move into the area Sunday and Monday with a few thunderstorms. Rain totals from Friday through Monday will likely be around 1-2 inches.
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