HOLDEN, Mo. – Face covering are once again required in Johnson County, Missouri.
The new order, signed last week by the Johnson County Community Health Services Board of Trustees, went into effect Monday. It comes as the county is seeing an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases
The county reported a 116% jump in confirmed cases during the month of September, including 8 new deaths, according to county health officials. The county lifted the original mask mandate during the same month, issuing an advisory that only recommended residents wear face coverings.
The new order requires residents to wear masks in any indoor public location including grocery stores, retail stores, offices, places of worship, bars and restaurants.
Facial coverings are also required for outdoor public gatherings where social distancing is not possible.
It doesn’t necessarily bother the owner of Walker’s 5&10 Variety in Holden. He’s been wearing a mask while at his general store since February.
“I don’t know anyone who wakes up in the morning and says, ‘Gee, I can’t wait to put my mask on,’” he said.
Walker said he doesn’t like to wear a mask, but he does it for the safety of his customers.
“Obviously, I don’t want to catch it, but I’m not worried that I am going to catch it or that I couldn’t survive it if I did. But I have a lot of customers that this is important to, and I feel like it’s my job to keep them safe,” he said.
Walker said it’s not a huge price to pay if means protecting his customers.
There are some exceptions to the mandate for people with certain medical conditions, as well as when seated, eating at a restaurant.
The order is in place until further notice.