PAOLA — The wearing of masks in public places in Paola will continue to be a requirement following the Paola City Council’s monthly review of the ordinance during their Dec. 8 meeting.
City Manager Sid Fleming said COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the state, and he recommended the council not lift the mask requirement.
“I still believe it’s prudent to keep the mask mandate in place,” Fleming said.
Fleming referred to statistics that show Miami County’s average number of cases per day is currently more than double what it was last month.
The council unanimously agreed to keep the mandate in place, although no official action needed to be taken. Councilman Dave Smail was participating via telephone because he was home sick.
“I’m on day number 21 of COVID pneumonia,” Smail said via conference call. “You don’t want this.”
Smail told his fellow council members he continues to get better every day.
Paola’s mask ordinance was first approved in July by a 3-2 vote, after the Miami County Commission overruled the governor’s executive order and approved a resolution making masks a strong suggestion but not a mandatory requirement.
The commissioners clarified that individual cities, school districts and businesses in Miami County may choose to set their own mask requirements, and Paola was one that chose to implement the mandate.
A statewide mask mandate went into effect Wednesday, Nov. 25, and Miami County is a part of it as county commissioners chose not to opt out.