CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO — The Cape Girardeau County Public Health Board voted unanimously Monday to immediately lift the county's face covering order. 

The public health board says — despite lifting the order, they continue to strongly recommend community members and county visitors to wear face coverings.

The face covering order was initially put in effect on July 13, and amended on Oct. 27 to add criteria for the board to consider before lifting or amending the order. 

The face covering order state it would remain in effect until one of the following events occur:

  • The viral lab test positivity rate (PT-PCR) for Cape Girardeau is below 5% for a two-week period and the rolling 14-day case count of new COVID-19 cases is below 200 for a two-week period. 
  • A COVID-19 Vaccine becomes widely available to the general public. 
  • A highly effective, relatively low-cost therapeutic treatment is widely available. 

The board says the first criteria has been met, based on the 14-day case count of new cases staying below 200 for a two-week period and the guidance of Medical Director Dr. John Russell. 

The health board also says the positivity rate was omitted because the board felt it was no longer an accurate measure with the significant decrease in testing. 

The health board stresses that lifting this order does not supersede other governing bodies — such as federal, state, and school board requirements. 

The board says it highly supports and recommends businesses and schools continue to require masks. 

You can see a full list frequently asked questions about the face covering order in the PDF below: