(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- St. Joseph's city council voted 7-2 on Monday evening to extend the city's mask ordinance for another 60 days.
The current order was to have expired Sunday night, February 14, but now will be in effect until mid-April.
During their regular council meeting held via Zoom, there was talk among members of 30, 60 and even 120-day extensions. However, after discussion, 60 days was agreed on.
Council members pointed to lower hospitalizations at Mosaic Life Care as evidence that the current mask order along with social distancing and other cautionary actions are working. Mosaic Life Care Chief Medical Officer Dr. Davin Turner reported that as of Monday morning, there were 19 Covid-19 inpatients in Mosaic Life Care facilities. That's down from a high of more than 90 at its peak. Also the Covid-19 test positivity rate is under 10 percent, which is lower than it has been in months.
"The whole reason we instituted this mask rule was to make sure our healthcare institutions were not overwhelmed," said council member Marty Novak, who originally preferred a 30-day extension, but agreed to the 60-day plan.
Also during the meeting, council members voted 5-4 to resume in-person meetings starting in two weeks when they are set to get together again on February.