ST. LOUIS, Mo. – FOX 2 reporter Andy Banker has confirmed that St. Louis City and County will issue mandatory orders to wear masks in public to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
Mayor Lyda Krewson made the official announcement during a Facebook live broadcast Wednesday afternoon. The joint order including St. Louis County came during the Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force press conference.
Mayor Krewson says that the St. Louis regional Pandemic Task Force has been suggesting for several weeks that everyone should start to wear a mask when in public indoor spaces. Now this guidance will become mandatory.
Masks should be worn in places like stores, gas stations, gyms, when entering restaurants, and when you cannot properly socially distance outside. This policy goes into effect Friday at 7:00 am.
Masks have been required for store employees for several months. Now, customers will be required to wear protective face coverings.
The announcement is coming before the July 4th holiday weekend. The number of new coronavirus hospitalizations in the St. Louis region is not that high. The moving seven-day average is around 18 new hospitalizations per day. But, there is a spike in cases in southwest Missouri that officials do not want to see moving to the eastern parts of the state.
Local officials are also tracking the spikes in cases across the United States.
“We don’t want to happen here what is happening in the rest of the country,” said Mayor Krewson.
Krewson says that most people are already wearing masks when going into stores and properly socially distancing outside. She says that enforcement will likely come in the form of peer pressure.
Wearing a mask is a precaution and the mayor does not want to reverse the reopening process. On July 6th capacity will be allowed to increase to 75 percent and by July 20th businesses will not have any restrictions.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health has masks available for anyone in need, especially over the upcoming holiday weekend. If you need a mask, drive by any of their clinic locations: John C. Murphy in Berkeley, the South County Health Center in Sunset Hills, or the North Central Health Clinic in Pine Lawn. Mask pick is available today starting at 1PM until 5PM, and tomorrow from 8AM until 5PM. This is highly encouraged to keep our community safe.
North Central Health Center
4000 Jennings Station Road
Pine Lawn 63134
John C. Murphy Health Clinic
6121 North Hanley Road
South County Health Center
4580 South Lindbergh
Sunset Hills 63127
The St. Louis Regional Pandemic Task Force says that it is always concerning when we see the hospitalization averages creeping up. They say that there is clear and convincing evidence that wearing the facemask can slow the spread of COVID-19. It only works if the majority of people are doing this.
Around 40 to 50 percent of people are wearing masks in Missouri. The more people wearing masks, the less negative impact on businesses moving forward.
New information from the St. Louis Regional Pandemic Task Force:
- 93% of the increase in the region is coming from St. Louis County, St. Louis City, and St. Clair County in Illinois. All other areas in the region, including St Charles County, only account for 7% of the area’s increased cases.
- The 136 new cases in St Louis County yesterday (Monday into Tuesday) represent the single highest day total since May 1. However, the increase in St. Louis County in the last 24 hours is only 34 cases, or more than 100 cases less than the day before.
- The 239 new cases we recorded from Monday-Tuesday this week marked the second consecutive day in our region that new cases topped 200+ (281 followed by 239). Four times in the last six days the region has seen COVID-19 cases top the 200 mark.
- In that same period (Monday-Tuesday), the region only recorded one new death. The second consecutive day only one new death was noted. However, in the last 24 hours, St. Louis County has now recorded 13 new deaths.
- The area has recorded two consecutive days of more than 20 new hospital admissions. That hasn’t happened since June 6-7. The rolling average in the region had been as low as 14 per day, it’s now up to 18 per day.