bransonglobe.com NATIONAL • FACE MASKS Continued from page 11 decision, they could respond during elections. Council member Anthony Monteleone, who introduced the ordinance and voted for it, said he was concerned because so many Joplin residents are older or have conditions making them susceptible to the virus. He acknowledged that masks are hot, uncomfortable and embarrassing to wear, but doesn’t see that as a good reason to refuse to use them. The government has mandated such things as seat belts, vaccinations and requiring shirts and shoes in restaurants because those actions are good for the community, he said. “Convincing people to change their attitude is difficult to do,” he said. “Right now we need to work on behavior and if the attitude changes follow, that’s fine. Let’s just get through this next month and then deal with the deeper issues.” The council authorized the city to buy masks to hand out free to residents who want them. And it planned to devise an “education and encouragement” campaign with business leaders to encourage their use. On Tuesday, the Springfield City Council heard from health officials during a discussion about how to react to increasing coronavirus cases in the city, which is about 70 miles east of Joplin. Springfield officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday, but council member Craig Hosmer said during the meeting that the council should look at some requirement for masks, KSPR reported. “If we don’t do something and there is a resurgence it’s going to be tough and pull back and close what we’ve already opened,” he said. Springfield-Greene County reported 257 confirmed cases Thursday, up from 198 on June 1. Dr. Robert Trotman, of Cox Health, said he had seen more patients in the last two weeks than any other time of the year, leading him to believe masks are an important tool for the public. Even if they stop only 95% of the cases, he said, “Right now that would probably save lives.” Support Our Local Veterans! June 28 - 30, 2020 • 13

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