CLAYTON, Mo. – St. Louis County issued a new face-covering order this morning after the county council approved a new mask mandate Tuesday night. It requires vaccinated and unvaccinated people older than five years old to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt posted a statement to Twitter soon after the mandate was approved that he would be fighting it in court. Councilman Tim Fitch said the order may be overturned.
For now, the mask mandate is in place in St. Louis County. What does the new face-covering order mean for people, schools, and businesses in the area? Here are a few bullet points from the new order:
- Masks are required in public buildings and transportation for anyone over 5-years-old. This does not include “private dwellings or private transportation vessels.”
- The order also does not close or place restrictions on businesses, schools, or churches. It “merely regulates the conduct of certain individuals while in St. Louis County in the event that, and only after, they access an indoor or enclosed public building or space or public transportation vessel.”
- The mask mandate is in effect until COVID transmission levels moderate as defined by the CDC.
St. Louis County has acknowledged that it has been confusing to keep track of all of the health orders over the last two years. They recommend wearing a mask if you are in doubt about what to do.
There are a lot of exceptions to St. Louis County’s new face-covering order. It does not limit the number of people attending events or allowed in schools, businesses, and churches. There are also many medical, social, and religious exceptions to the order. You can see all of them here.
St. Louis area hospitals set another pandemic record today when it comes to COVID hospitalizations and it is putting a massive strain on the health care system. Many of them are postponing elective surgeries until the surge in cases subsides. Dr. Clay There are a number of healthcare workers who are unable to work because they have tested positive.
The surge comes as the omicron variant spreads through the region. Doctors say they are also seeing an ‘alarming spike’ in the number of children who are hospitalized.