Mask mandate for Jefferson County starting Monday


HILLSBORO, Mo. – A mask mandate has been approved in Jefferson County and will go into effect next week. The county health board also approved limiting mass gatherings and requiring social distancing.

Not only was the meeting heated inside, things got testy outside as protestors were yelling for the Kelley Vollmar, the Jefferson County Health Department director, to be fired.

The health board discussed the 5-page mandate line-by-line before voting on it. The mandate passed with a 3-2 vote and goes into effect Monday, August 31 at 12:01 a.m.

Anyone over the age of 5 will be required to wear a mask in public when physical distancing of 6 feet isn’t possible. That also includes schools.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force has previously called out Jefferson County as an area of concern because of a rise in cases.

Vollmar said that in the past week there has been an 11 percent positive test rate in the county but she’s just happy to have this passed.

“Even though we have been making recommendations to the community, the numbers have not been going down. In fact, they have been going up,” she said. “The fact that we have a fifth of our population getting ready to go back-to-school, that is going to make a significant impact, keep in front of our contact tracers. So, that’s the whole goal of this, you want to test, identify…that you can keep ahead of the spread and limit it.”

The board will reassess the mask mandate at its next meeting on September 25.

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