Franklin County, Missouri issues mask order for 30 days


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. – With Governor Mike Parson extending a state of emergency until spring 2021 and issuing a public health warning, leaders in Franklin County have issued a mask order for the next 30 days.

Franklin County Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker said Thursday the order will go into effect at midnight and expire on Dec. 20.

People must wear a face covering whenever they leave their homes and are in contact with non-family members indoors. The order applies to everyone 10 years of age and older.

People can remove their face mask if they are participating in a sporting event. If you’re outdoors or exercising indoors, you do not need to wear a mask, as long as you can maintain a minimum social distance of six feet from others.

The number of cases in Missouri has surged in November. The state had more cases in October than the past three months combined. There are now more Missouri COVID-19 cases in November than in October. The number of deaths could rise very fast if hospitals become overwhelmed.

And while Parson said he will not issue a statewide mandate—he’s left that up to local governments—he is asking Missourians to be responsible.

You can the full text of the Franklin County order below in its entirety:

WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a highly infectious and dangerous disease that on March 11, 2020 was declared by the World Health Organization to be a pandemic; and

WHEREAS, due to the COVID-19 pandemic there have been declarations of emergency enacted by the President of the United States and the Governor of the State of Missouri; and

WHEREAS, the State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (“DHSS”0 issued a Public Health Warning on November 19, 2020 advising that the United States is experiencing an extreme outbreak of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, DHSS’ Public Warning advised that as people move from fall into the winter months, respiratory illnesses spread more rapidly as people move indoors and environmental conditions change; and

WHEREAS, DHSS is warning that if we do not slow the spread of the virus, we risk having our health care systems overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients and that this poses a significant risk not only to those suffering from COVID-19, our first responders, and those working in our healthcare systems, but to anyone requiring health care support, including people requiring emergency services and ICU access from car accidents to treatments of serious health conditions such as cancer; and

WHEREAS, due to extreme COVID-19 risks, the State of Missouri has issued its Public Health Warning to set expectations for all individuals living and/or working in Missouri and for local jurisdictions; and

WHEREAS, the County Commission of the County of Franklin, Missouri has the authority pursuant to the provisions of state law including, but not limited to, Section 192.300 RSMo. to make and promulgate orders, rules or regulations, respectively as will tend to enhance the public health and prevent the entrance of infectious, contagious, communicable or dangerous diseases into the County of Franklin, Missouri; and

WHEREAS, after the promulgation and adoption of such orders, rules or regulations by the County Commission of the County of Franklin, Missouri the County Commission shall make and enter an order or record declaring such orders, rules or regulations to be printed and available for distribution to the public in the Office of the County Clerk, and shall require a copy of such order to be published in some newspaper in the County in three successive weeks, not later than thirty days after the entry of such order, rule or regulation; and

WHEREAS, the spread of COVID-19 will continue to grow at an exponential rate for the foreseeable future unless additional measures are implemented to reduce the spread of the disease in the County of Franklin; and

WHEREAS, exponential spread of the disease has the potential to overwhelm the community’s medical resources; and

WHEREAS, due to the escalating spread of the COVID-19 pandemic it necessary for the immediate preservation of public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the County of Franklin to take steps to mitigate the spread of the disease; and

WHEREAS, the key transmission method for the COVID-19 virus is through respiratory droplets that people expel when they breathe, speak, cough, or sneeze; and

WHEREAS, people can be infected with the COVID-19 virus and be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic but still be contagious to others; and

WHEREAS, numerous epidemiologists have found that widespread use of a face mask is necessary to prevent the more rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, and thereby necessary for the safety and health of the County’s citizens, residents, and visitors; and

WHEREAS, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that members of the public, when they need to interact with others outside the home, and especially in indoor settings should cover the mouth and nose to prevent inadvertently spreading COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, the wearing of a mask by patrons and employees to the greatest extent possible may allow businesses to remain open while protecting the health and safety of the public and employees and keeping the local economy strong during the period in which the disease is being brought under control in the community; and

WHEREAS, in response to the Public Health Warning issued by DHSS, the County Commission of the County of Franklin, Missouri finds that wearing a Face Mask is an appropriate and necessary method of reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will be the least restrictive means imposed with the greatest benefit to reduce community spread.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the County Commission of the County of Franklin, Missouri makes and reaffirms the findings set forth above and incorporates the same by reference as if fully set forth herein; and

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that, as used herein, a “Face Mask” means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. A covering that hides or obscures the wearer’s eyes or forehead is not a Face Mask. A Face Mask may be factory-made, or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that any mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling allows droplets to be released from the mask, putting others nearby at risk, and therefore these masks are not a Face Mask under this Order and must not be used to comply with this Order’s requirements.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED¸ that, except as otherwise provided in this Order all persons age ten years old and above who are present within the jurisdiction of the County of Franklin, Missouri are required to wear a clean Face Mask any time they are, or will be, in contact with other people in public indoor spaces who are not household members.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED,  that any time an employee or staff person is required to wear a Face Mask pursuant to this Order, the employer shall make face masks available in sufficient quantity to assure each employee can wear a clean Face Mask at all times.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that a person may remove their Face Mask where otherwise required under the following circumstances:

1. While outdoors when able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others;
2. While exercising outdoors or while exercising indoors when able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others;
3. When engaged in a sporting activity;
4. While at home; provided however, the wearing of a Face Mask shall be required in all common areas of any multifamily structure;
5. When in a vehicle;
6. While eating or drinking in the dining area of a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, provided that person is able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from persons seated at other tables, and provided this distance restriction is enforced by the restaurant or other establishment;
7. When an individual has a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a Face Mask;
8. When any party to a communication is deaf or hard of hearing and not wearing a Face Mask is essential to communication;
9. While obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the Face Mask, such as dental examinations;
10. When necessary to confirm the individual’s identity;
11. When federal or state law prohibits wearing a Face Mask or requires the removal of a Face Mask;
12. When requested by a law enforcement officer;
13. When requested by a medical provider, including emergency response personnel;
14. When in a business/commercial/office setting and not within six feet of any other person; provided however, when moving from place to place in a business location where the person cannot maintain at all times a distance of six feet from all other persons a Face Mask shall be worn.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that a person who has been convicted of a violation of this Order may be sentenced to pay a fine which does not exceed fifteen dollars ($15.00) for an individual and one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a business, government or non-profit entity of any kind.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that any business, government or non-profit entity that permits an individual within or working for the entity to violate the provisions of this Order shall subject the business, government or non-profit entity to a fine which does not exceed one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that if any provision, section or portion of this Order is found or determined by a court for any reason to be invalid or unenforceable, those provisions shall be severed from the remaining portions of this Order, which shall remain effective in the absence of any invalid or unenforceable provisions.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order shall be in effect from and after 12:01 a.m. on November 20, 2020 and it shall remain in effect until 12:00 noon on December 20, 2020.

IT IS FURTHER ORDRED, that a copy of this Order be provided to Tim Baker, County Clerk, and that a copy of this order be printed in the Missourian for three successive weeks commencing immediately upon the adoption of this Order.

Franklin County Commission

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