ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Two plans that could help get youth sports back in the game will be presented at the St. Louis County Council meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Councilman Tim Fitch plans to introduce a bill that would give additional oversight on the county executive's pandemic-related, state of emergency mandates. It would require county council approval of any mandates in a state of emergency longer than 15 days.
Fitch said the continued restrictions on some youth sports and older athletes “absolutely” are a factor in why he plans to propose the bill.
"No individual should fear oversight," Fitch told 5 On Your Side last week. "They should have to come before a public body like the county council and explain why they're making the decisions they're making," he said of Page's office.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page addressed the bill on Friday, saying it was initially driven by the mask mandate and other public health orders.
"I do believe this authority rests with the county executive and should continue to rest with the county executive as it does with every chief executive in every similar jurisdiction in the country," Page said.
Councilman Mark Harder also plans to propose a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting to call for the return of youth sports and the reopening of schools.
Last week, Page said the county is in the process of adjusting its recommendations on in-person learning, and that younger students in St. Louis County could soon return to school buildings.
The St. Louis County Council will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Over the last several days, parents and student athletes have been protesting the restrictions on youth sports, demanding to let students play competitively again.
The latest changes that went into effect last Friday loosened restrictions on several low-contact and moderate-contact sports allowing them to begin playing games competitively again. However, high-contact sports and athletes 14 and older are still prohibited from competitive games.
Page has continued to defend the decisions, saying the restrictions are based on recommendations from public health experts.
The positivity rate for teens ages 15-19 is five times higher than the rate for kids younger than 10, according to St. Louis County's coronavirus data. He called it a “very alarming positivity rate” for the older teens.
“That combined with some high-contact youth sports has led our public health experts and advisers to determine that there are some types of youth sports that should be restricted in their activities, games and competitions and should only be allowed to scrimmage and practice,” Page said last week.