Christian Co. Health Director urges city of Ozark to adopt a mandatory mask ordinance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – People in the city of Ozark may soon be required to wear face coverings.

The Board of alderman discussed the possibility with the Christian County Health Director Tuesday night.

“There’s no vaccine for this virus. There’s no treatment that works 100 percent,” said Karen Peak.

The Christian County Health Department Director is urging Ozark city leaders to consider adopting a mandatory mask ordinance.

“We know that face masks don’t work 100 percent either but at this point that is our best option to try because what we’re doing now, requesting or asking people to do it, it’s not working,” she said.

Like Springfield, Ozark could require people to wear face coverings in public, when social distancing isn’t possible.

Bruce Galloway said, “For so long now we’ve sat and watched other areas of the country deal with this virus. Some areas were deeply affected. Other areas were not.”

He is one of the alderman who are in favor of an ordinance.

“But we’re no longer on the sidelines. It’s here. The numbers are going the wrong way,” he said.

As are some people, like Justin Brantner, who already wears a mask.

“It’s just kind of our due diligence as society to protect each other. It’s just a piece of cloth. It doesn’t bother me,” he said.

Others, like Chris Armstrong, said that they won’t likely comply.

She said, “I just believe that it’s my right to choose how I should live my life. I don’t need the government to tell me.”

Like Armstrong, not every alderman is on board.

Jason Shaffer said, “I am, by nature, a limited government type of individual. I think the government should be one that educates and advises and recommends but not one that dictates and demands or controls. Really what we’re talking about is punishing our citizens for not choosing a behavior that we think is most appropriate.”

However, with no end to the pandemic in sight, the health department wants to slow the spread.

“If we can prevent even one illness or one death, that’s what we’re here for,” said Peak.

There hasn’t been a decision made about bringing an ordinance to the table for a vote. If one is drafted the public will be able to voice their opinions and concerns. That could be as early as Monday, August third at 7 p.m.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.