Missouri judge strips local health departments’ ability to impose COVID-19 orders | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Missouri judge strips local health departments’ ability to impose COVID-19 orders

Neither Missouri’s health director nor local health agencies’ directors can use “personal discretion” when imposing orders that impact businesses, individuals, schools, and other entities, a Cole County judge said Tuesday.

The COVID-19 pandemic ignited a fierce debate in Missouri over local control and the powers local governments or health agencies have to mandate masks, closures, or capacity limits. The lawsuit and subsequent judgment from Judge Daniel Green, underscored the debate Tuesday.

At issue is the Department of Health and Senior Services’ regulations which allow the state director and directors of local health agencies in the state to implement “control measures,” such as the closing of a school or public place of assembly, in the interest of protecting public health.

Green’s judgment found the regulations were unconstitutional and invalid and instructed the secretary of state to remove them from the registrar. He also said local health agencies’ orders “based on the opinion or discretion of an agency official without any standards or guidance” are “null and void.”

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