CLAYTON, Mo. – The mask mandate in St. Louis County is no longer in effect. A letter issued by St. Louis County Health Department leader Dr. Faisal Khan says that “The September 27, 2021 Face Covering Order was removed from the County website. It is now rescinded.”
The St. Louis County Council did not approve a new mask mandate Tuesday. The heath order must be renewed every 30 days according to a new Missouri law.
FOX 2 reporter Chris Regnier tweets, “It was revealed during brief court hearing this morning before Judge Ellen “Nellie” Ribaudo. County officials say the main reasons were the Cole County ruling with no appeal pending and County Council not approving mask mandate.”
“Because of the Cole County order & the council’s decision not to approve a new face-covering order, the Dept. of Public Health director this morning rescinded the prior face-covering order. The Health Dept. continues to recommend masks in indoor settings. Covid cases are rising,” tweets St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page.
“This is a huge win for the citizens of St. Louis County and the people of Missouri. Although we have consistently held that St. Louis County’s mask mandates were illegally imposed in the first place, this is the right move and is consistent with the recent judgment from the Cole County Circuit Court. We expect more local public health authorities and school districts to follow suit in the coming days and weeks,” writes Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
“The City of St. Louis mask mandate is still in effect because the Board of Aldermen renews the mandate every 30 days under the law established earlier this year by the Missouri legislature,” a statement from the City of St. Louis Department of Health.
The controversial St. Louis County mask mandate was back in court Thursday morning for more debate. Lawyers for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt are squaring off with attorneys from St. Louis County before Judge Ellen “Nellie” Ribaudo.
Schmitt filed a lawsuit alleging that the second St. Louis County mask mandate announced by County Executive Dr. Sam Page in late September violates state law. A spokesperson for Schmitt said he wants a preliminary injunction to officially stop the mandate.
“I continue to strongly recommend that St. Louis County residents and guests wear masks
indoors in public spaces. Masks save lives,” writes Khan.
The last hearing, in this case, happened not long after the Cole County court ruling by Judge Daniel Green. That decision says COVID-19 health orders issued by local health authorities are unconstitutional and that all existing health orders are null and void. The St. Louis County case was continued until Thursday so attorneys could review Green’s ruling.
School districts and public health agencies across Missouri say they must rescind and stop enforcing health orders like mask mandates because of Green’s decision. On Wednesday, Schmitt reached out directly to Missouri parents for help in identifying school districts that are continuing to enforce COVID-19 health orders in violation of the Cole County ruling. Schmitt wanted families to reach out to his office with information.