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Columbia’s proposed mask order: up to $15 fine for not wearing one


The Columbia City Council will review an ordinance at its July 6 meeting which would require people to wear face masks.

Watch the full briefing with the mayor in the player below.

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece previously said he supported the idea of an ordinance requiring masks and asked the city manager to draft one.

Under the ordinance attached to the meeting's agenda, everyone 10 years and older would be required to wear a mask any time they will be in contact with other people who are not household members, both in public or private indoor spaces.

Munir Mohammad is owner of Shortwave Coffee in downtown Columbia. He said his employees have already been wearing masks, and they have been encouraging customers to do the same.

He said an ordinance making masks a requirement could actually have a positive impact on business.

"I think definitely people will be more on the lookout for people not wearing masks. That's definitely been like an issue before, where some people are wearing masks and some people not wearing masks," he said. "If we're all required to then people will maybe be a little bit more comfortable coming outside and going shopping."

Nicki Davis with The District Downtown Columbia said many businesses have already implemented some of the guidelines in the ordinance for their employees, and have asked customers to wear masks.

"Most of our businesses have already been wearing masks. They are concerned for themselves, their employees and their customers, so this is an action that they've taken voluntarily already," she said.

Davis said business owners are also concerned about a resurgence in cases.

People would be exempt from wearing masks in certain situations, including when they are outside and able to maintain six feet of distance, while at home with members of their own family, if they have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask and more.

Individuals who do not wear masks could face a fine of $15. Businesses would be fined $100 per employee caught not wearing a mask.

Davis said the fines could impact businesses differently.

"Some businesses that could be substantially hard for them, especially in today's world where they're not making nearly half the money they were making before this," she said. "Other businesses they won't see that as a threat and potentially not take that seriously."

The bill's possible approval would have to go through a unique process. It will take six of the seven council members to vote in favor of it because of an emergency clause added to the bill. The city charter allows the council to pass bills without the usual first and second readings of them done at two different meetings if they deal with "immediate preservation of public peace, property, health, safety or morals."

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Sydney Olsen

Sydney Olsen reports in the evenings during the week and on the weekend.



  1. The ordinance also says it applies to non-profit agencies and governments. What?! Is the City going to fine itself? Is the City going to send a bill to the State of Missouri? Hahahaha, good luck with that.

    For a disease that has killed two people and put a TOTAL of 18 people in the hospital over the last FOUR months, this ordinance is a terrible overreach. We don’t need this ordinance.

    Make your voices heard Columbia. The City will keep pushing until we push back.

    1. I agree with Harry.Where do we draw the line?Truly politics and trying to recoup some money with the fines.Guess it’s time to talk some really good lawyers.This is crazy.Being safe and being punished is two different things.Just imagine the “karens” if this passes

      1. Yes completely agree. This is ridiculous. This will hurt businesses more than help. Most people I know will not be going anywhere and just be buying their goods online on Amazon for the most part. Food will be the same way. Say goodbye to all mom and pop local businesses.

  2. removed a petition against this proposal but left one for it. That alone is. Infringement on our constitutional rights. Also KMOU is deleting any comments calling this out.

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