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St. Louis County's mask order 'in force' after judge's ruling, Sam Page says

The judge said she made the ruling because the latest mask mandate in St. Louis County made the attorney general's initial petition "moot."
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County's mask order is "in force" after a judge's ruling Thursday, County Executive Sam Page said.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Ellen Ribaudo granted the government's motion to dissolve a preliminary injunction she earlier imposed on it, preventing enforcement of the mask order. And Ribaudo dismissed a version of the lawsuit that started the case, brought by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. But Ribaudo said Schmitt can file within 10 days another version of the suit, which dates to July.

Ribaudo made the ruling, she said in an order, because of a new mask mandate issued by the county last month. That made Schmitt's initial petition "moot," because it focused on Page's July mask order, she said.

Page said Thursday that "enforcement has never been our focus."

"Our focus has always been on protecting lives and livelihoods," he said. "That's why a mask order was adopted in July and that's why one remains in effect now."

5 On Your Side received a statement from the Attorney General's office Thursday evening.

“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. Further, we will argue in front of the Court next week to obtain the discovery that County Executive Page refuses to produce and is actively hiding from the people of St Louis County. This is purely a power grab by the County Executive, and we will continue our fight for the people of St. Louis County,” said spokesman Chris Nuelle.

To read more on this story from the St. Louis Business Journal, click here.