Members of the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center (PHC) Board of Trustees, that issued a face covering mandate back on July 13, 2020, could lower the masking standard from required to strongly recommended in the future. Important discussions were centered on the current mask mandate at Tuesday’s regular monthly trustees meeting, that was conducted on Zoom because of pandemic concerns. Ever since there was a modification made to the current order back on October 27th, masks have been mandated for all visitors and all residents of Cape Girardeau County unless clearly defined measurement criteria are met. The current mask mandate could be lowered to a strong recommendation if the lab-test positivity rate dips below five percent for two full weeks and if the rolling fourteen -day case count of new coronavirus statistics dips below 200. Officials say if the rolling count stays below 200 cases for two weeks then they are confident saying (the standard) is being satisfied, even if the positivity rate is above five percent. Trustees were provided with an update on COVID inoculations and health officials provided comment on Cape Girardeau County’s high percentage of administered vaccine doses. They say they were ready to go when the vaccine was delivered and they mentioned the good cooperation the PHC has received from SoutheastHEALTH, Saint Francis Medical Center, Crosstrails, Park Pharmacy, John’s Pharmacy and Missouri Med Pharmacy. Officials say they began administering vaccines ten to two weeks earlier than much of the state and when the county received the vaccine in late December, they began administering doses as early as two days before Christmas. Cape Girardeau County, at 17.4%, was tied Tuesday for fourth among Missouri’s 114 counties in percentage of the population vaccinated, tied with Gasconade, and behind Shelby, Atchison and Worth counties.