Eastern Missouri county reverses itself on mask ordinance

Associated Press
The Rolla Daily News

HILLSBORO — A county just to the south of St. Louis has revoked a mask mandate just one day after passing it. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports  that the Jefferson County Health Center Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to revoke the ordinance. The county said the decision was made after residents raised concerns about whether the board had appropriately notified the public before discussing the ordinance.

"It is extremely important to the Board and Director of the Health Center that residents feel confident in the process that is used when preparing public orders," the board said in a statement.

The board had approved the ordinance Thursday, 3-2, after a contentious meeting that lasted more than five hours. The board said it had not determined a date for a future meeting to consider the order again.

State Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, raised concerns on Friday about potential Sunshine Law violations. She said that she was preparing to file a lawsuit against the board Friday afternoon, before she learned about the emergency meeting to revoke the ordinance.

Jefferson County has reported 2,663 cases of COVID-19, and 45 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.