St. Louis, Missouri, has joined the list of cities reimposing mask mandates after a rise in novel coronavirus cases, officials announced Friday.
The mask mandate will begin Monday and requires all individuals ages five and older to wear masks inside public places and on public transportation, regardless of vaccination status, Fox2 News reported. Outdoor mask-wearing will be strongly encouraged, especially around others.
The order includes some exceptions, according to St. Louis mayor Tishaura O. Jones’ office. People who are eating or drinking at a bar or restaurant do not have to wear a mask, and disabled people who cannot put on or take off a mask do not have to wear one. (RELATED: Mitch McConnell Warns Lockdowns Are Coming If More People Don’t Get 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,” St. Louis acting health director Dr. Fredrick Echols said in a statement.
— Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) July 23, 2021
“The City and County health departments are taking this joint stop 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.”
More details about the mandate are expected to be released next week, Fox2 reported. Around 40% of Missouri residents have been fully vaccinated and 57.3% of adults have received at least one shot, according to the report.
Los Angeles reimposed its mask mandate in response to rising cases, and Chicago Public Schools announced that they would require masks for all students and staff in the fall. Philadelphia health officials recently announced that they now “strongly recommend” mask-wearing for all individuals indoors.