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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Ordinance To Prevent Spread Of COVID-19 Voted Down In Neosho

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The City of Neosho will not have restrictions on gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Neosho City Council voted against an ordinance that, in part, would have prohibited gatherings of 16 or more unless a letter or approval was obtained first from the Newton County Health Department.  The council also voted to repeal the existing ordinance, which means the city currently has no restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The vote came after several people spoke passionately against the ordinance, citing scripture and telling council the ordinance was a violation of their constitutional rights.

One speaker told council members that fear caused Joplin to mandate masks and said the ordinance in Neosho would cause unnecessary fear and anxiety.

One woman told council they don’t have the authority to take away her rights—only the president and God do.

At one point, the crowd recited the Lord’s Prayer.

More than one person called for the mayor, Carmin Allen, to resign.  He told those gathered that the Constitution protects life and liberty.  Through the ordinance, he said, they are trying to balance life and liberty.  He said he’s been threatened because of the proposed bill.  He pointed out that the Bible says to love thy neighbor and said threatening someone is not doing that. 

One council member, Angela Thomas, joined the meeting from home.  She’d been exposed to the coronavirus by someone who is incapacitated and doesn’t leave home.  Someone who came into their home passed the virus onto them, she said.

Newton County is listed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as number nine on the list of counties with the most cases of COVID-19.  Newton County had 540 cases as of Thursday, according to the department.