ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Following the CDC’s announcement Thursday that people who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 can largely stop wearing masks, officials in St. Louis City and St. Louis County announced this morning they have rescinded the mask requirements.
County Executive Sam Page joined Mayor Tishaura Jones for an 11:30 am news conference at St. Louis City Hall to announce new joint health orders. The pair announced earlier loosening of restrictions last week, which went into effect Monday.
“It’s a very exciting time for our country and for St. Louis County and it’s the result of some very difficult decisions we’ve made over the past year to get us to this point,” Page said. “I’m proud of St. Louis County, I’m proud of the decision we’ve made together.”
Page said the new joint health orders will be in line with the CDC guidance. “I expect our public health departments will be working through the night to look at our guidelines, make sure they’re aligned, and make sure all of our recommendations are in line with the CDC guidance.” he added.
FOX 2’s Zara Barker asked Sam Page how the county will regulate the CDC guidance and ensure only fully vaccinated people are not wearing a mask.
“You can’t possibly check people and say ‘are you really vaccinated because you don’t have a mask on?’ and I think that goes back to the theme we’ve had in the past year, that it’s very uncommon for people not to follow our guidelines,” He said he believes St. Louisans will do the right thing.
Frank Cunetto, who owns Cunetto House of Pasta said the changes may be difficult for the restaurant industry.
“We really have no way of knowing who’s vaccinated and who’s not vaccinated,” Cunetto said. “Pretty much everyone is going to be coming in without a mask on its going to be up to the people who are not vaccinated to police themselves and be honest and wear a mask if they’re not vaccinated.”
Currently there’s a sign outside Cunetto House of Pasta that requires a mask, but as soon as the city ordinance is lifted, Cunetto said they won’t require masks for its staff either.
CBL Properties, who owns Mid Rivers Mall, St. Clair Square and South and West County Centers issued a statement about masks in its malls.
“We will continue to comply with St. Louis County’s order requiring masks or face coverings in public places. As for the updated recommendations issued by the CDC on Thursday, we will review them in their entirety and make a determination as to how they will impact our operations after the mask mandate is lifted, a CBL Spokesperson said in a statement Thursday.
A spokesperson for Schnucks sent a statement Thursday. “The safety of our customers and teammates is our priority. Following today’s release of the new guidelines set by the CDC, our leadership team will continue to review our facemask policies across our 111 stores in four states.”
A spokesperson for Dierbergs Markets also sent us a statement Thursday.
“We are still trying to understand exactly what this means for our stores across all communities that we serve. We hope to share more after further evaluation”