CENTRALIA – Centralia Mayor Chris Cox would not have supported a mask mandate 30 days ago.

Cox believes in granting as much as freedom as possible to his constituents.

When cases started to increase in the county, his position changed. He said it became time to be proactive.

"It's cumbersome," he said. "It's frustrating a little bit. But at the same time, if it helps save some people and keeps us from getting to a point that we would need to be reactive and too late, seems like this stuff gets going quickly, in areas of communities and breaking out, if we can keep that to a minimum by being proactive, I'm all on board."

Cox also said he also supported the mask order to protect in-person learning for Centralia schools.

"At what point do you say the government can not tell you what you can and cannot do?" Cox asked. "I thought we should keep it to short intervals the mandate is in place countywide."

Cox believes a mask order will help upkeep the work his city has done to keep virus cases at a manageable level.

"I think people have done a really good job," he said. "But I think those people that have health issues, and underlying health issues, you had to be respectful of that even if there wasn't a mask mandate in place."

The Boone County mask mandate went into effect on Wednesday and will last until Dec. 8.

You can find more information about the mandate by clicking here.

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