Mask confusion intensifies after St. Louis County removes order from website

FOX Files

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — An attorney for St. Louis County told a judge Tuesday that its mask order has been removed from its website, but the county will continue to fight for a mandate.

Judge Ellen “Nellie” Ribaudo held a brief hearing with lawyers for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and attorneys for St. Louis County to discuss the impact of last week’s ruling from Cole County Judge Daniel Green. The ruling bars local governing bodies from imposing COVID-19 health orders, like mask mandates.

Ribaudo set another meeting for Dec. 9, so attorneys on both sides could meet and try to work out the various issues that are still outstanding. 

Meanwhile, people across the St. Louis area are confused about whether or not they should wear a mask.

“It’s really confusing for people like us,” said Washington University student Rabbee Haidari. “Like, you walk in and don’t know what to do.”

Haidari said he’s vaccinated and willing to follow the changing rules.

“Usually, I walk in and see what other people are doing,” he said.

Jamal Lewis, the owner of TNT Wieners on the Delmar Loop, said he doesn’t know what law to follow.

“I know there’s a mandate, and there’s no mandate,” he said.

Lewis said he got a notice demanding that he put up a “mask required” sign, and he hasn’t taken it down.

“If someone refuses to wear a mask, I’ll calmly just have them sit at a table,” said Lewis. “I’ll take their order and bring their food out to them. I try to accommodate people. I think it’s probably best to keep the masks going to kind of stop the spread, so we can keep businesses flowing.”

It’s a similar situation at 2nd Shift Brewery in St. Louis, where they recently learned of a staff member’s breakthrough positive COVID test.

“As of right now we are closed until we find out everybody’s safe,” said 2nd Shift Brewery owner Steve Crieder.

They’re waiting on two more employees to get their test results back before reopening. Crieder said they support the guidance to wear masks.

“Nobody else had it here because we wear a mask,” he said. “We sanitize and just try to be careful. Personally, this is our family. Literally, our kids are here.”

Despite the confusion, Crieder said his customers seem to understand and don’t resist their mask rule.

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