Rolla City Council lets face mask ordinance expire, encourages continued use


Citing a significant drop in active positive COVID-19 cases in Phelps County the Rolla City Council did not pass an ordinance to extend the city’s facial covering ordinance  during its regular Council Meeting on Monday. Ordinance No. 4596 would have extended all COVID-19 mandates including facial coverings, occupancy limits on enhanced-risk activities, and 6 feet of separation in all businesses until March 17.

It takes seven affirmative votes to pass an ordinance in the city of Rolla. Council members Schneider, Murphey, Schott, Eberly, Allen and Ruder voted to extend the ordinance while council members Higgins, Crowell, Florence, Meusch and Bolin voted not to extend. City council member Lyons was not able to attend the meeting due to a family emergency. The effect of the city's ordinance expiration coupled with Phelps County’s related order essentially means there are no mandatory activities related to COVID-19.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has extended Missouri’s emergency declaration until March 31, which encourages all residents and business to operate with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines of facial mask coverings, frequent hand washing, limited public and private events and safe-distancing. The city of Rolla is encouraging these practices while access to vaccinations expand throughout the county over the next several weeks. 

Parson has continued to rely on the cooperation and concern of Missourians to protect themselves, their families and the public – a sentiment Mayor Lou Magdits said he shares.

Private businesses and public institutions still have the right to impose COVID-19 protocols and practices to ensure the safety of their employees, patrons, customers and students.

The city of Rolla will continue to cooperate with Phelps Health, Phelps County Health Department, and primary institutions to monitor COVID-19 cases and health impacts. 

The Phelps County Commission on Tuesday also voted to let Phelps County’s mask ordinance expire Tuesday night.