Franklin County, Mo mandates face masks; Will fine residents, businesses who don't abide

Commissioners of the county west of St. Louis have voted for a 30-day mask mandate, hoping to stem the tide of coronavirus.

UNION, Mo. (KMOX) - The three-member Franklin County Commission voted Thursday to order a mask mandate, beginning Friday, November 20 and continuing until December 20. It's the first time the mostly rural county west of St. Louis has issued such a mandate.

Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker, "We're getting at a level now that every healthcare institution is taxed to a level that they're uncertain about the future. So, now is the time to act."

The mandate comes with a $15 fine for individual violators, $100 for businesses.

Brinker says enforcement will be based on complaints, but he hopes it doesn't come to that.
"It's definitely done to mitigate the spread of corona (sic)," Brinker says. A"nd to hopefully buy us the time we so desperately need in our healthcare systems."

Worth noting is the order says certain kinds of masks do not qualify as compliant, specifically "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."

Brinker says the Commission will revisit the mandate December 20th, hoping it won't need an extension.

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