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JOHNSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) – Officials with Johnson County, Missouri, say that face coverings will be mandatory starting midnight on July 6.

The county said that the order will continue for 21 days, expiring midnight on July 28.

The order will require residents and visitors to wear a face covering in any indoor public location including, but not limited to, retail stores, grocery stores, offices, places of worship and restaurants and bars.

In addition to wearing a face covering indoors, the county says face coverings are required in outdoor public gathering places when social distancing is not an option.

“The health, safety and wellness for our communities are our biggest priorities. The recent spike in numbers has caused us to implement additional safety precautions to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Mary Thaut, JCCHS administrator. “We understand that wearing a face covering is not the most comfortable, but this is a necessary step to help keep our communities safe.”

“We also understand the importance to our economy by keeping local businesses open. We want our community members to continue staying active. Requiring face coverings temporarily is an additional tool that each person can use to help protect each other. However, this should not replace other precautions such as social distancing,” Thaut said.

The county has listed exemptions to the order.

  • Those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Children younger than five years old and children who are younger than two years old should never wear face coverings due to the risk of suffocation.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes but is not limited to persons with a medical condition in which wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.
  • Individuals seating in a restaurant or bar actively engaged in consuming food or drink, but only when adequately distanced from others.

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