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Public Health Center issues emergency face coverings order

The Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center issued an emergency face covering order that went into effect Monday, July 13.

There is no expiration date on the order. It will be in effect until the Public Health Board rescinds the order, or the Cape County public health emergency declaration is lifted.

The Public Health Center has the authority to issue a public health emergency order to protect the health and safety of the community, provide education, and listen to concerns. The Cape County Prosecuting Attorney is charged with carrying on the prosecution in legal proceedings.

According to the order, face coverings must be worn by all persons over the age of 9, including employees or visitors, present at any business or public space; or outdoors in a public space when anyone other than members of their household or living unit are within 6 feet; or attending a gathering of individuals who are not members of their household in any area, when six feet of separation is not feasible.

This restriction applies to businesses, bars, restaurants, wedding receptions and churches. It does not apply to gatherings of individuals at personal residences.

Some examples of when to wear face coverings are:

• When shopping.
• When sitting in the stands close to others watching a sporting event.
• When walking around your office/place of work if others are present.
• When riding in a vehicle with someone who is not a member of your household, such as using public transportation or carpooling .
• When standing in line at the store or other event.
• Anytime you are in close contact with someone with whom you do not live.

It is believed that wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people.

The cloth face coverings recommended in the order are not surgical masks or respirators.

Exemptions have been allowed for those individuals who have medical reasons that may prevent them from wearing a face covering.

Face coverings are not required if doing so would be contrary to someone’s health or safety because of a medical condition. This includes those who have trouble

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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