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Mask ordinance not on the table in Jefferson City

Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City
ABC 17 News
The Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Jefferson City does not have any current plan to require masks as COVID-19 case numbers continue to increase.

However, Mayor Carrie Tergin told ABC 17 News last week that officials will continue to encourage people to wear masks even as other cities such as Columbia codify face coverings into law.

"People should wear a mask, especially if they cannot practice social distancing," said Tergin, who wears masks at public appearances. "Even though we haven't mandated that, we are certainly suggesting it and being a good example."

Cole County saw a record increase of 15 COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The increase came after community testing in Jefferson City last week but it wasn't clear how many cases were found during that testing. Case numbers in Cole County have been on a steady rise as new cases statewide jump.

Tergin said her plan is to keep explaining the CDC guidelines, which recommend people wear a mask when social distancing is not an option.

"We are leading by example and we are wearing our masks and recommending it to follow those guidelines being put out by the state department of health that suggest people wear a mask when they cannot distance," she said.

Cole County is following the state's "Show-Me Strong Recovery" plan.

This plan offers guidelines for how to protect yourself and practice proper hygiene, what to do if you get sick and how to get tested. However, Missouri is no longer under any statewide health orders requiring masks, social distancing or limiting business operations.

Chris Moreland, a spokesperson for the Missouri State Capitol Office of Administration, said all state government officials are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines but not required to wear masks.

"We strongly encourage state employees to wear face coverings," he said. "We require social distancing in meetings in conference rooms and in state office facilities."

Almost one-third of state Capitol employees are still working remotely, according to Moreland.

There were 52 active cases in Cole County on Monday. Updates are posted daily on the Cole County Health Department's website.

Check back for more on this developing story or watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6.

Cole / Health / Jefferson City / Politics / Top Stories

Zola Crowder

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