As Thanksgiving approaches Governor Mike Parson on Thursday continued to reiterate that there will be no statewide mask mandate in Missouri. K R P S’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson

Parson repeatedly and in various fashions said Thursday that he is not considering a statewide mask mandate and that it is unlikely that he will change his mind. He also reiterated his support for local control and discretion of a mask ordinance in Missouri. As of Thursday, the Missouri Department of Health reported that the state is average just over 3,900 new COVID cases per day, which is down slightly from earlier this week when the department reported about 4,300 daily new cases. Parson said he is concerned about the increase in hospital capacity across the state, and more importantly, the nurses and doctors who work in these facilities. “Staffing is the major issue. Not so much bed space. But the reality of having people to work in those hospitals is becoming a real issue. We are looking at different avenues right now to hopefully bring in some support to that, we are looking at all options as we can at the state level.” On Thursday night, in a special session, the Joplin City Council voted 6 to 3  in favor of a mask ordinance that is effective immediately. The measure will be in effect until February 28, 2021, unless the city council amends it before then.