St. Louis County Council bills would mandate COVID vaccine for employees, new attempt at mask requirement

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A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo–While a lawsuit over last week’s joint St. Louis City and County mask order has now moved to federal court, it appears the St. Louis County Council will hear discussion over a new mask order next week.

One week after the council voted to eliminate the order in the county, a move that County Executive Sam Page said did not mean the end of the mandate, members on Tuesday will discuss new legislation to enact a new mandate for masks. It will be introduced by 5th District Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, one of two members who voted to retain last week’s mandate.

Also Tuesday, 4th District Councilwoman Shalonda Webb will introduce legislation “mandating all St. Louis County employees and contractors be vaccinated against Covid—19, or be required to submit to regular testing and mitigation requirements.”

That bill would appear to mirror steps announced by the Biden administration Thursday.

Fewer than 10% of employers have said they intend to require all employees to be vaccinated, based on periodic surveys by the research firm Gartner.

The Biden administration hopes its federal-worker guidance will help change that, by providing a model for state and local governments and private businesses to follow as workers prepare to return to offices this fall.

The Associated Press contributed information for this report.

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