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People speak out at Cape Girardeau Co. health board meeting

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 9:51 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A routine health board meeting turned heated when a group of people showed up to speak out against any future mask mandates.

At Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting for the Cape Girardeau County Health Center, dozens of people showed up with signs, pushing back efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

Public comments were not on the agenda for the meeting for the Cape Girardeau County Health Department, but that didn’t stop some in attendance from speaking out.

“This is a box of masks. It will not protect you from a virus. It will not protect you from bacteria. Why did the manufacture put that on there,” one attendee asked.

At the start of the meeting, the board announced it had no intention, right now, of issuing another mask mandate for Cape Girardeau County.

The statement did little to reassure some attendees who expressed opposition to masks and COVID-19 vaccinations.

“This movement is just starting. We will not go under mandates again. Not masks. Not vaccines. Not restricting our businesses. Who are business owners here,” another attendee said.

Tuesday’s meeting was supposed to be held at the Health Center, but the board decided to move the meeting to the Shawnee Sports Complex when they learned more than a dozen people planned to show up.

“The meeting was crazy,” said board member Eric Becking.

Becking is a newly elected member of the board. He said the board was not prepared for Tuesday’s opposition.

“I feel like if we boil it down, they just feel like they haven’t been heard and just haven’t had a chance to be listened to,” Becking said.

He said the board may discuss plans of separate meetings for public forum.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there have been 81 new COVID-19 cases in Cape Girardeau County over the last seven days, that’s a 170 percent increase compared to the prior week.

Cases of COVID-19 in Cape Girardeau County, Mo.
Cases of COVID-19 in Cape Girardeau County, Mo.(Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services)

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