This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON, MO – A big win for people who don’t want to be required to wear masks to prevent COVID-19 in Washington, Missouri. Hundreds of people showed up to talk about a proposed mask ordinance at the city council meeting Wednesday night. Folks arrived early armed with signs and determination.

Franklin County has had 791 confirmed cases and 19 deaths from Covid-19. Some people were against a requirement to wear a mask including the county’s Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker. He said they don’t need a new rule, “…because were doing it right now without the mandate of government right now in Franklin County.”

Not everyone could get inside. The chairs were socially distanced. Speakers were allowed two minutes to talk. One man went over the time limit and wouldn’t stop. He was led away from the podium by police.

Both sides made their case, those in favor of the mask ordinance said it protects people’s health and could save lives. Those against said the masks don’t work and the ordinance violates their rights as a citizen.

Driving around Washington is unlike St Louis city or county. Few businesses have mask signs posted on their doors, after checking more than a dozen places I only saw two shops with mask signs. City hall posted a reminder on how to be safe.  And there were professionally produced anti-mask ordinance signs in people’s yards.

There were 47 people signed up to talk. When they were finished the city council voted and defeated the proposal.