St. Louis County wins court round on mask mandate

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo–A St. Louis County judge has handed County Executive Sam Page a victory in the continuing legal battle with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt over the county’s latest mask mandate.

Thursday afternoon, Judge Ellen Ribaudo’s ruling dissolved an earlier preliminary injunction issued against a previous mask mandate which was ultimately rejected by the St. Louis County Council over the summer. Under a new mandate that took effect in late September, masks are required to be worn by anyone five years or older indoors and on public transportation, regardless of vaccination status.

Schmitt’s office argued that the latest mandate flew in the face of the temporary injunction granted over the earlier one. While a hearing to make the temporary injunction permanent has now been canceled, a hearing scheduled for Monday morning to force St. Louis County to produce background and data to support the need for the latest mask mandate is still planned.

“Since the law barring the second mask mandate is clear, the Court has asked us to file an amended petition commensurate with what we know the law is, that the County’s second mask mandate is illegal since they’re unable to issue a second mask mandate for 180 days, and we will prevail,” Chris Nuelle, a spokesman for Schmitt said in a statement to FOX2 Thursday night. “This is purely a power grab by the County Executive, and we will continue our fight for the people of St. Louis County.”

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