Dear Branson Community,
On July 20, 2020, Taney County had 152 confirmed positive of COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths. As of August 13, 2020, Taney County has 490 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths. These numbers are sobering.
We can work together to defeat this deadly disease. The City of Branson has done our part by passing the face covering ordinance. Please do your part by wearing face coverings, washing your hands, social distancing, and following the guidelines of the Taney County Health Department for yourself, your family, or your business. You can find several great resources on its website at https://www.taneycohealth.org/covid19/.
We have had our face covering ordinance in place now for about two weeks. The next few weeks will be very telling if we can slow the virus down. The COVID-19 unit at Cox Hospital in Springfield is at capacity. Though the City of Springfield has had its face covering ordinance in place a couple of weeks longer than us, they are just beginning to see a slow down in positive cases. Please join me in encouraging folks in our community to continue to protect others by wearing face coverings per our ordinance requirements.
In my opinion, the Branson Board of Aldermen has taken unfair criticism for trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 by passing the face covering ordinance. I continue to receive a majority of thank you comments from people who feel that they can now safely visit our wonderful town. I am also looking forward to a report that the Branson Chamber of Commerce and CVB is working on about how the face covering ordinance is having a positive effect on our tourism.
My main concern regarding tourism is that there are areas of the Midwest and south that have had major increases in positive COVID-19 numbers. These are the same areas we draw visitors from. There is typically a slow down this time of year with the start of school. These two factors may affect our visitor numbers in the near term.
Switching topics, I would like to welcome Julia King as a Ward 3 Aldermen. Because Alderman Kevin McConnell resigned, State Law dictates we go through an appointment process for that position. I along with a panel of a former Mayor and two former Aldermen met with and interviewed each candidate who applied for that position. Julia King was chosen unanimously by the panel due to her strong ethics, business acumen, and desire to serve the City of Branson. The Branson Board of Aldermen then voted unanimously to approve that appointment. She will be officially sworn in at our August 25 Board of Aldermen meeting.
Again I ask if you are a praying person to keep our citizens, community members, and our businesses and their employees in your prayers. I am doing my best to as Mayor to uphold up my oath to protect your health and well-being.
Thank you for letting me serve you,
Mayor Edd Akers