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City of St. Louis extends mask mandate into new year

The order extends the current mask mandate into 2022

ST. LOUIS — The mask mandate in the City of St. Louis will continue into the new year. The Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a resolution extending the measure Tuesday afternoon.

Under the mandate, masks have to be worn in indoor public spaces in the City of St. Louis for anyone 5 years or older. The health order goes into effect on Dec. 23 and lasts for 30 days. After that, it could be extended again. The previous health order is set to expire Dec. 24, on Christmas Eve.

"The City of St. Louis is currently seeing its highest virus transmission since last January, when vaccines were only available to the most vulnerable populations," said a statement from the City of St. Louis Department of Health. "Colder temperatures and increased gatherings due to recent holidays may be contributors to these higher numbers, calling for the need to continue to follow COVID-19 safety measures, including masking."

Earlier this month, the city sent out a reminder to residents, businesses and visitors that said a mask mandate is still in effect. It came at a time of confusion in St. Louis County over masking there.

Last week, St. Louis County ended its mask mandate. Acting St. Louis County Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan sent a letter stating the mandate is no more and it was removed from the county website. In it, he cites the recent ruling from Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green that ordered local health orders are illegal and should be lifted.

The City of St. Louis mask mandate was adopted on Nov. 24, the day after the judge’s ruling. It’s filed under Health Commissioner’s Order #5 and was adopted by the Board of Aldermen as Resolution #142.

“The City is utilizing distinct local authority, in accordance and consistent with the requirements of State statute, for the continuing implementation of its Mask Mandate,” the health department wrote in the release earlier this month. “The goal is to ensure the maximum number of individuals take prudent precaution to reduce the exposure to and slow the spread of SARS CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.”

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