Surge in Virus Cases Pushes Missouri County to Require Masks
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suburban and rural county near St. Louis is requiring face masks. Franklin County's mask order takes effect Friday and expires Dec. 20. The mandate is notable for what Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker described as “freedom-preserving” Franklin County. The area trends conservative. Local leaders had resisted requiring face masks for months. That changed after Republican Gov. Mike Parson's administration issued a public health warning in response to the recent exponential rise in Missouri coronavirus cases. The state health department reports that there have been more than 26,000 new cases in the past week. That's about 3,700 new cases a day.