The Jackson County Legislature on Monday morning voted not to reinstate the county's mask mandate by a slim 5-4 vote.

Afterward, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt released the following statement:

“Earlier today, an effort to reinstate the mask mandate in Jackson County failed. This is a huge win for the people of Jackson County, and I’m glad that the Jackson County Legislature has followed the law and heeded my warning that such a mandate was illegal. Our fight against the continued forced masking of Missourians continues.”

Despite Schmitt's statements, members of the county legislature who voted against the measure said state policy was not a factor in their decision.

Theresa Galvin (6th District) said the issue barely came up during the discussion. 

"For me it was a matter of personal responsibility," Galvin said. "I trust my constituents and their ability to make these decisions for themselves."

Dan Tarwater (4th District), who has previously opposed mask requirements, agreed that the defeat of the mask requirement had  little to do with pressure from the state. 

"I'm not opposed to people wearing masks," Tarwater said. "I just believe in the right to choose that."



JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -- With COVID cases and hospitalizations rising across the Kansas City metro, Jackson County may bring back its mask mandate.

The issue is up in front of the Jackson County Legislature on Monday at 10 a.m. The proposed mandate would be in effect until Jan. 12. The county's legislative body did away with its last mask mandate on Nov. 12.

The move is prompting another threat from Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. He sent the county legislature a letter calling mask mandates "illegal" and threatening to sue.

Schmitt points to a recent ruling from a Cole County judge that struck down some rules pertaining to COVID-19 restrictions, but experts said that only applies to rules created by unelected officials.

Local COVID cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise since October and November, with daily hospitalizations increasing almost every day since late October.

The metro hit its recent low on daily average hospitalizations at 79 on Oct. 27. Average daily hospitalizations now stand around 150. That's a 35 percent increase in the past week.

Cases have been rising since around Nov. 2, when they stood at 265 new cases. Daily new cases are currently around 560, a 12 percent increase in the past week.

KCTV5 will be covering the Jackson County Legislature meeting, and will give you the latest as discussing are had and decisions are made.

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