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The city of Branson's mask order is now effective through Oct. 14.
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The city of Branson's mask order is now effective through Oct. 14.

Branson board extends mask order

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The Branson Board of Aldermen yesterday voted to extend the mask mandate it put in place this summer.

The ordinance, which was set to expire yesterday, is now in effect through Oct. 14. The board voted 5-1, with Alderman Larry Milton in opposition, according to a news release.

Designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, the mandate requires the use of a face covering in public spaces, with violations that could result in a $100 fine and potential revocation of a business license and other permits, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The extension vote yesterday drew more comments from residents, on top of roughly 10 hours of public debate and two meetings in July.

Following the July 28 vote to approve the mandate, the city of Branson was sued by business owners Jamie Hall and Bo Dejager, who claimed the mandate causes harm to the tourist city's economy and infringes on individuals' right to privacy. The suit represented by attorney Kristi Fulnecky was dismissed last month by the Taney County Circuit Clerk.

The Marshfield Board of Aldermen is slated to vote on a mask mandate on Thursday. The Ozark Board of Aldermen last month rejected a proposed ordinance, following a similar decision by the city of Nixa earlier in the summer. The city of Springfield's mask mandate is scheduled to last through Oct. 14.

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