St. Louis County Council holds meeting to debate mask mandate

Missouri

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Louis County Council will take up the mask mandate debate again Friday.

The County Council will hold this special meeting at 3:00 p.m. The only item on the agenda is to discuss and consider the mask mandate proposed last month by County Executive Dr. Sam Page and the County Health Department.

The Chair of the Council Rita Heard Days called for the meeting Thursday afternoon. This came after a nearly four-hour session Thursday where the council met as a committee of the whole on the masking issue. Council members heard from county health officials and medical doctors about the effectiveness of masks in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Council members Tim Fitch, Mark Harder, and Ernie Trakas raised questions about the efficacy of masks and the differences between varying types of masks. The county’s top tfhree health officials as well as Dr. Hillary Babcock, the director of medical infection at BJC, all agreed that masks are an effective and immediate tool in greatly reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

About a month ago, Page announced a mask mandate for St. Louis County that covered indoor spaces and public transit. But shortly after it went into effect, the council voted 5-2 to rescind the mandate saying it had the authority to block it under a new state law. They also argued that Page should have consulted with them before enacting the order.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt also sued to block the order and a judge last week enjoined the county from enforcing the mask mandate.

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