The Columbus City Council will consider an amended mask mandate ordinance at Monday's council meeting, according to City Administrator Tara Vasicek.
This ordinance would tie the requirements of the mask mandate to the level of cases in Platte County.
If the 7-day rolling average incidence (new cases) of COVID-19 cases is below 50 cases per 100,000 people for 14 consecutive days, then the mandate would be “suspended,” according to the proposed ordinance.
However, if the 7-day rolling average of new cases again reaches 50 or higher per 100,000 people, the requirements would then be effective again.
The “timeframe and thresholds” will be determined using public East-Central District Health Department statistics, according to the ordinance.
The sunset date for the mask mandate is still Feb. 23, 2021, unless extended by the Columbus Council.
The potential ordinance says city officials are considering this because they had seen a decrease in COVID-19 numbers.
“The Council and Mayor for City of Columbus believe that local situation pertaining to COVID-19 has begun to stabilize at this time,” reads the ordinance. “… That there has been enough of a downturn in new cases reported and hospitalizations to warrant a revision of the 'Sunset' date provision for the Prevention of COVID-19 Chapter."
East-Central's Dec. 18 situation update states “new COVID case numbers and hospitalizations have decreased in the health district and in the state,” but were still above safe levels. The update defines safe levels as below 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks.
On Nov. 24, the Columbus City Council approved the current mask mandate 4-4, with Mayor Jim Bulkley breaking the tie.