Mask mandate? Where St. Louis area governments are enforcing face coverings

Missouri

ST. LOUIS– St. Louis County’s mask mandate is in the middle of a legal battle and St. Louis City’s expired last week. If you cross the Mississippi River into Illinois, there is a new mask mandate rule that went into effect today.

So it may be confusing to know where you do and do not have to wear a mask in the region. Here is a breakdown of the latest local and state governments:

St. Louis City:

The mask mandate in St. Louis City has been extended. Monday, the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen unanimously passed Resolution 81 which extends the mandate which expired on Saturday.

Resolution 81 says St. Louis City is classified by the CDC as a high COVID transmission area and only about 45 percent of eligible residents in the city are fully vaccinated.

A spokesperson for Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed says it is a binding resolution because it is an extension of a mandate that was already in place.

St. Louis City and County announced a mask mandate to start on July 26. The Missouri Attorney General has filed a suit against St. Louis County and City to stop the mask mandate.

St. Louis City’s mask mandate has not been in court yet.

St. Louis County:

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page says there is still a mask mandate in St. Louis County but a preliminary injunction was issued preventing him and the health department from enforcing the order.

Last Friday, the St. Louis County Council held a special meeting and passed a resolution supporting the county’s mask mandate. The resolution has no force of law, so the status quo won’t change meaning that there is still no enforced mask mandate in St Louis County.

Monday, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said the county’s legal counsel has asked a judge to lift the injunction now that the council is backing the mandate.

Page said this morning that the council backing the mandate should remove any lingering confusion about the status of the county’s public health order.

He said the message is clear,” wear a mask to fight the virus and get the vaccine when you are eligible.”

Legal experts say there is no controlling legal authority and are uncertain as to what the status is in St. Louis County.

Brad Young, with Harris Dowell Fischer and Young, says there are a few factors playing into the confusion including:

  • Gov. Parson ending the state of emergency in the state
  • The vote by the county council was ceremonial and non-binding
  • The mask mandate issued by Sam Page in July would have expired if there was not a preliminary injunction

Illinois:

An indoor mask mandate went into effect Monday in Illinois regardless of a person’s vaccination status. Governor JB Pritzker made the announcement late last week and now the mask mandate is in effect.

Everyone ages 2 and up will be required to wear masks in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status.

Pritzker said he is not considering business capacity limits for now.

Starting on Sept. 5, individuals working in a vaccine-required setting who are unable or unwilling to get the shot will be required to get tested at least once a week.

St. Charles County:

According to the St. Charles County website, wearing a mask in public is recommended when in public and unable to socially distance

Jefferson County:

Jefferson County’s mask mandate expired in March 2021

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