We support Mayor Carrie Tergin's proclamation to require face masks to be worn during all indoor public city meetings.
As we reported Tuesday, the proclamation requires visitors who are at least 10 years old to wear face masks while attending City Council meetings and all other public city meetings.
The proclamation is based on advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With Cole County's total number of COVID-19 cases approaching 200 as of this writing, the ordinance just makes sense.
Some Missouri cities, including Columbia, now require masks be worn around anyone outside of your household.
For Jefferson City's proclamation, face masks can include any material that covers the nose, mouth and lower face, including factory-made or handmade masks, and those improvised from ordinary materials like a bandana.
The ordinance isn't asking much, and it creates as little a barrier as possible for people to express their right to attend public meetings.
First, disposable face masks will be available for use at meetings for residents who do not bring one.
Second, residents will not be required to wear face masks if they have a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that prevents them from wearing one; when any participant in a conversation is deaf or hard of hearing and needs to read lips; or when requested by a law enforcement officer or medical provider.
The proclamation gives the presiding officer or chair of the meeting the authority to ask anyone not complying to leave the meeting space.
That's a last-resort option that, hopefully, won't be needed.
If you attend a public city meeting, we urge you to heed the proclamation as an added level of protection against the coronavirus for yourself and your fellow Jefferson City residents.