COVID-19 cases have dramatically slowed in Joplin since implementing the mask mandate in mid-November 2020, but the ordinance expires at the end of this month. K R P S’s Fred Fletcher-Fiero has more.

Freeman Hospital Joplin, Missouri 11/17/20

The most recent mandatory mask mandate in Joplin was passed by the city council in November 2020, near the peak of coronavirus cases in the area. The increase in mask use, in addition to hand washing, social distancing, herd immunity, and COVID-19 vaccines, have all contributed to lower new cases number. Dr. Rob McNabb of Freeman Health System in Joplin says that the city council should consider an extension until at least 70 percent of the population is immunized. “The thing that I would want people to focus on, the way that I see this is, we’re eventually controlling the spread with this, and I think that gives us a real opportunity to get the vaccinations to people and get them immunized.” There mask mandate in Springfield is in effect until April 9th. Branson’s mask ordinance is in-effect indefinitely with no specific end date set.