CLAYTON, Mo. – St. Louis County will be dropping the mask mandate starting at 8:00 am Monday. The metrics the county required to drop a mask mandate are expected to be met this week. An “extraordinary rise” in cases would be required to bring the mask mandate back. St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page says that it appears that the worst of the pandemic is coming to an end.
The move comes as COVID-19 cases continue to fall in St. Louis County, across Missouri, and around the country. Omicron spiked cases in St. Louis County in early January. Page says the numbers were off the chart. Now, St. Louis County is at a place where it can go from a mask requirement to a mask recondition.
Page says Missouri’s uneven response to the pandemic and politics did not help the situation.
“It should have been a time of unity, but instead it was used as an opportunity to divide us. As a result, more people became sick and more people died,” said Page. “I have taken grief from COVID-deniers and listened to anti-vaxxers spread their dangerous lies and misinformation. Criticism always comes with the job. But, I will always push back against those who think politicizing a pandemic is their path to higher office.”
While the mandate itself will be over, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health will launch a public health advisory encouraging mask-wearing in crowded indoor spaces. The announcement comes today to give schools and businesses time to determine if they want to keep mask mandates in place. There are many young kids who cannot get a vaccine and others are immunocompromised.
St. Louis County and St. Louis City are coordinating efforts to fight the spread of COVID. Page expects the city to drop mask mandates soon but a vote from the Board of Aldermen is required before that may happen.