masks photo

A family exits the Maryville HyVee with masks on, a day before the city council is set to vote on whether or not to install a mask mandate in the city as cases of COVID-19 spike in Nodaway County

As the number of reported positive COVID-19 cases continue on a gradual rise in Nodaway County, Maryville’s city council, with a lack of guidance from the state, will vote on whether or not to adopt a local mask mandate July 22.

City Manager Greg McDanel said the special meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and be open to the public.

“Please note that any face covering ordinance has standard exemptions for certain health conditions, activities, etc,” McDanel wrote on Facebook.

Taking heed of reports from the Nodaway County Health Department, which now includes 60 positive COVID-19 cases with 33 no longer in isolation, and mirroring other municipalities who have already enacted mandates, the council will discuss an ordinance that would require wearing face coverings in certain public locations.

One week ago, the city of St. Joseph, Missouri, officially enacted a face covering mandate July 13, one that is expected to last 60 days.

Mayor Benjamin Lipiec said the emergency meeting is necessary with the upcoming arrival of Northwest students for the fall semester.

“There has been a doubling of local cases within one week,” Lipiec said. “With the arrival of 7,000 college students mid next month, we called an emergency meeting.”

Several Maryville city staff, including council members Tye Parsons and Rachael Martin, took to social media to inform the public of the vote. Martin briefly discussed medical expenses and economic impact, while saying she is “here to listen” on the “polarizing topic.”

“Ultimately, my concern is the health and safety of the people I care about: you all,” Martin wrote on Facebook.

The Nodaway County Health Department continues to urge the community to practice social distancing, limit in-person interactions and practice good handwashing and hygiene. It recommends cleaning contact surfaces frequently and wearing a mask when social distancing cannot be achieved.

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