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Springfield city council repeals COVID-19 masking rules

Missouri’s third largest city of Springfield is ditching its indoor mask rule but not until summer break begins for the area’s public school students.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the city council voted Monday to drop the requirement after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance last week that Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 need no longer wear face masks.

Springfield-Greene County Acting Health Director Katie Towns said waiting until 11:59 p.m. on May 27 for the change to take effect “will allow children not yet eligible for a vaccine to continue to be protected with masks.”

Towns added, “We need to spend these next two weeks working hard to improve our vaccination rates while we wrap up school.”

Towns told council that Greene County’s rolling 7-day COVID-19 infection rate has declined 93 percent since its wintertime peak.

“These lower numbers give us confidence in our ability to continue to respond to COVID-19,” she said, citing health department efforts such as contact tracing investigations to slow the spread of the disease.

Missouri’s major cities and many nearby counties, including Kansas City, St. Louis and St. Louis County, all ended mask mandates on Friday.

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