Joplin Mayor Ryan Stanley’s comments re:
Letter from area healthcare organizations requesting action of local legislators
As Mayor, I recently received a letter from healthcare organizations and providers in southwest Missouri noting the significant challenges they are currently facing due to the coronavirus. They noted the substantial increase their facilities are experiencing in the number of citizens presenting with illness, including both coronavirus and other high-risk conditions. Due to the rise of patients confirmed with COVID-19 in these facilities, each are facing complex adversities including reduced capacity. This decrease puts everyone in our community at risk.
The City of Joplin had implemented a mask mandate in the past, which our healthcare leaders recognized as a tool that helped keep COVID-19 hospitalizations at a manageable level. Their letter is asking for the City of Joplin, and all of Jasper County and Newton County along with the municipalities in these counties to pass a mask mandate to help decrease the spread.
We appreciate our healthcare leaders reaching out to us for assistance. This is an opportunity to work together in collaboration with our neighboring communities to act in unison to combat the spread of COVID-19.
At the close of last night’s Council meeting, I received confirmation from the Council to contact the county commissioners to learn their intended next step in this matter. The Joplin City Council cannot affect other cities’ actions, however as a municipality that sits in both Jasper and Newton counties, I am contacting the commissioners to discuss the possibility of collaboration among all. Once I have had a discussion with the leadership of both counties, I will update Joplin City Council, and we will discuss how we want to proceed further.
We are encouraged that we can make a difference as a region, to decrease the transmission of COVID-19 that is affecting our citizens in each of our communities.