(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- St. Joseph's city council approved a resolution on Monday that will extend the city's mask mandate for another 90 days.
The new order will extend until February 14, Valentine's Day.
Council members say their decision was swayed by sobering numbers from the health department and Mosaic LIfe Care on increasing new Covid-19 case counts and pandemic-high hospitalizatons.
There was little debate as to if the order should be extended, however there was discussion on the amount of time for the mandate.
Some council members suggested the new order last as long as 180 days. Other said they would like to see a shorter period of time, perhaps until the end of the year.
However, all council members agreed that the order can be extended further or even eliminated at any time if warranted.
Mayor Bill McMurray responded to critics who say the current mask mandate hasn't helped reduce Covid-19 case numbers.
"Imagine how much the numbers would go up if the masks were not required," McMurray said. "The dependent variable on the number of cases is not just the masks. We have some people wearing the masks wrong. They have to wear the masks properly."