Jefferson County Health Department director receives threats over her support for mask mandate


HILLSBORO, Mo. – The Jefferson County Health Department director says she is receiving personal attacks over her support for a mandate on the wearing of facial masks in the county to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

Kelley Vollmar describes the angry personal attacks as almost threats and she wants it stopped. More on that in a moment.

Fox 2/News 11 was outside the Jefferson County Administration Center where the county council will meet tonight at 6:3 p.m. The council does not have the authority to order the wearing of masks. Only the county executive or the health department board can issue that order. The council is expected to hear comments about the proposed mask mandate during the public comment section of the meeting.

The county health department director supports an order that would require everyone in the county to wear a mask when they are indoors.

This has become such a tense issue that Kelley Vollmar says she is being personally attacked and there are calls for her to resign or be fired by the health department board. She says she has received over 500 emails about the controversial issue and it’s about a 50/50 split for those for and against, but Vollmar says some of her opponents have crossed the line and made it personal.

“Going into public service, I never truly never thought that there would ever be a time where I would be concerned whether a decision I was making for the betterment of my community would result in worry about the right decision and worrying about my family,” Vollmar said. “Personal attacks as far as my position up to, and including, asking for my resignation or recall or removal, letting folks know where I live, letting folks know personal details about me or my life.”

Vollmar would not go into specifics about the nature of the threats made against her. The county health department board is expected to meet this week to talk about strategies in combating the spike in coronavirus cases. Those strategies could include an order to wear face masks. The date and time of that meeting have not been announced yet.

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