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Columbia City Council members give insight on options for mask mandate

Columbia City Council members give insight on options for mask mandate


The Columbia City Council will discuss an emergency ordinance on Monday which could mandate masks throughout the city.

The mandate would go into effect at the decision of the council and would last 30 days unless "extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing by later adopted ordinances."

It requires everyone five and older in Columbia within six feet of another person to wear a mask.

Children ages two to five are also "strongly encouraged, but not required, to wear face coverings."

Individuals convicted of violating the ordinance could be fined $15, while businesses could be fined up to $100.

The ordinance was put to draft in the city council's Aug. 2 meeting, as the delta variant powers a surge in COVID-19 cases among the unvaccinated.

"If you look at who's in the hospital, overwhelmingly, they're unvaccinated people," said Matt Pitzer, the Columbia City Council Ward 5 representative. "That's why I think that we need to continue focusing that message that vaccines are what's going to solve this, not masks."

Pitzer says the Columbia/Boone County health department is doing well enough with vaccine outreach.

"You know the number of vaccines that they administered in July was 50% over what they did in June, and that's exactly what we want," Pitzer said. "We want them focused on vaccine outreach, not enforcing a mandate that's almost impossible to enforce anyhow."

The council will first hear public comment before voting on a mask mandate.

Columbia City Council Ward 2 representative Andrea Waner says she is looking forward to hearing public input.

"I think there is a lot to consider in this decision and I plan to trust the health experts in our Columbia," Waner said. "We have a difficult task ahead."

Six out of seven members must vote yes on Monday to approve the emergency mask mandate.

"As elected officials, our job is to lead with data and to do what is in the best interest of all those in our community," Waner said. "Right now, that looks like strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated and to wear a mask."

The special meeting will be held Monday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

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Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto anchors the weekend morning and weekday 9 a.m. & noon newscasts for ABC 17. You can find up-to-the-minute information on Zach’s social media, @ABC17Zach on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



  1. The only data you need to consider is the fact that 99.7% of people survive COVID, without being vaccinated. Healthy people without multiple comorbidities have a much higher survival rate. Unless you are wearing a fit tested N95 respirator or better, masks are worthless virtue signalling.

    Delta variant is already declining in Boone County, just like it did in UK and India. We are almost done with this. Politicians need to resist the urge to “Do Something”.

    Masks and lock downs have serious unintended consequences, especially for the community’s most vulnerable population. The cure has been far worse than the disease.

    Please vote NO for new mask mandates.

    1. Check your math… the mortality rate is (number of deaths)/(number of cases) x 100 (to convert to a percent) so, in Missouri (10490)/716000 = .0146 x 100 = 1.46%. You state that 99.7% of people survive COVID, but the number is actually 98.54% So for every 1000 people who catch Covid, approximately 15 will die. Not to mention the suffering and side effects and toll on the medical system.

      To add some perspective, yesterday 2,259 tested positive in Missouri. We can expect 33 of them to die.

      Always best to base decisions (or your arguments) on the correct math.

  2. Unless they are of sufficient design to contain a virus, which practically none are, and fitted properly, which includes shaving your beard guys, you might as well carry a magic wand.
    They serve no purpose other than to demonstrate your submission.

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