ST. LOUIS – Does a mask mandate still exist in St. Louis County? That question is still creating confusion and controversy on Thursday morning.
County leaders are at odds over whether the mandate is still in effect after Tuesday night’s county council 5-2 vote to end the mandate.
All of this sending mixed messages to businesses and citizens.
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page said the mask mandate still exists even after the 5-2 vote. Page said the fate of the mandate won’t be decided until a judge rules on a lawsuit filed Monday by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt to try and kill the mandates in St. Louis City and St. Louis County.
Wednesday, Schmitt sided with the county council and filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to try and stop the mandates in the city and county. Schmitt said Page cannot continue to enforce the mandate in the county after the county council vote. A court hearing on Schmitt’s motion has not yet happened.
County Council Member Tim Fitch, who led the effort to repeal the mandate, said Page violated a new state law when he enacted the order. Fitch contends that Page had to consult with the county council before moving forward with the mandate, but Page said he did nothing wrong.
Meanwhile, businesses are caught in the middle of the legal battle and left wondering what to do. Dierbergs said it will continue to enforce the mandate. Schnucks is pointing to CDC guidance recommending masks be worn inside in places with high COVID transmission rates like the St. Louis region.
Now the Cardinals could issue updated mask guidelines at Busch Stadium as soon as Thursday.
In St. Louis City, it’s clear that the mandate remains in place, at least for now.
Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas has reinstated an indoor mask mandate for everyone aged 5 and older, regardless of vaccine status starting Monday, August 2.