A mask mandate is coming.
Beginning Monday, St. Louis city and county will be requiring residents over the age of five to wear masks in indoor places and on public transportation. The rule goes for both unvaccinated and vaccinated.
“We’ve lost more than 500 St. Louisans to COVID-19, and if our region doesn’t work together to protect one another, we could see spikes that overwhelm our hospital and public health systems,” Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the City of St. Louis, said in a press release. “The City and County health departments are taking this joint step to save lives, make sure hospitals can provide the care residents rely on, and protect our children so they can enjoy a full range of educational opportunities this year.”
Exceptions in the orders will include people who are seated in a restaurant or bar while eating and drinking and individuals with disabilities that prevent them from putting on or removing face coverings.
Echols advised, in addition to the masks, to wash hands regularly and keep a distance when possible. He also encouraged getting vaccinated, stressing that the vaccine is one of the most effective ways to prevent severe complications and death from COVID-19.
Dr. Faisal Khan, acting director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, said the health departments are “relentlessly committed to making vaccinations more accessible and convenient.” Khan said the masks will help slow the spread of COVID-19 until they can get vaccines more readily available.
“We must protect our most vulnerable residents as well as children under 12, who are not yet eligible for vaccinations,” Khan said in the press release.
The release also noted that vaccines reduce hospitalization by 87 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Find information about vaccination on the county's website, stlcorona.com
, or the city's, at stlouis-mo.gov/covid-19
Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]
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