St. Charles County Executive says mask mandates don’t work as COVID-19 cases there are around 50 per day

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ST. LOUIS – The St. Charles County executive vows to stay the course despite a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann said he’s encouraged by the very lastest coronavirus numbers saying they’re a lot better than two weeks ago. But he admits the county is far from being out of the woods.

“I don’t want people to think that the emergency has passed, so I’m a little bit reluctant to show you these numbers. I don’t want anybody to relax their efforts in regards to mask-wearing and social distancing just because things are getting better because there’s still a lot of work to do,” Ehlmann said.

Near the end of June St. Charles was seeing about 11 cases a day. Two weeks ago it spiked to 70 cases a day.

Now Ehlmann says over the past 14 days the numbers are down to about 58 cases a day.

He thinks the actions of St. Louis City and St. Louis County caused the surge in St. Charles.

“Once everybody opened and we had more and more back and forth across the river between St. Charles and St. Louis County and St. Louis City obviously St. Louis had three times as many cases so the more contact we all had, I think it was inevitable our cases would go up the way they did,” Ehlmann said.

The county has given away some 300,000 masks in the past month to schools, business and residents. He recommends they use them, but he doesn’t think mask mandates are effective.

“We don’t have enough police officers or public health officials to send them out there into the stores and into the businesses and cite people for not wearing a mask or scold them for not wearing a mask or god forbid to arrest them for not wearing a mask. Since we can’t enforce it, I think it’s counterproductive to mandate it,” Ehlmann said.

He is also not limiting the number of people allowed in businesses due to not being able to enforce a measure like that.

Ehlmann is convinced he’s on the right track taking the voluntary approach even though he acknowledges that the COVID-19 numbers are still way too high in St Charles County.

I’ll let you know how his approach pans out. After all, you paid for it.

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