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ST LOUIS AMERICAN; City, county leaders lift mask mandate for vaccinated people

City, county leaders lift mask mandate for vaccinated people

Region not out of woods yet

St. Louis County and city governments rescinded their mask and social distancing ordinances last Friday morning for fully vaccinated people, in accordance with new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC’s guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but it’s a step toward reopening workplaces, schools and other venues — and removes the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.

“Let me be clear – if you are not vaccinated, going indoors or in crowded areas without a face mask covering still puts you at risk for contracting COVID-19.”

-St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones

While rescinding mask and social distancing mandates for fully vaccinated people, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page noted that everyone will be required to follow individual businesses’ mask policies, regardless of their vaccination status.

“While this is a welcome and exciting update, we must now more than ever be cautious  about our health and the health of people around us,” Jones said.

“Let me be clear – if you are not vaccinated, going indoors or in crowded areas without a face mask covering still puts you at risk for contracting COVID-19.”

Vaccination rates in the region are still low, Jones said, at around 38 percent. The mayor encouraged people who still need to be vaccinated to visit the Dome at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis, where appointments are not required but are recommended.

“If you are vaccinated and still want to wear [a mask], keep wearing it — I know I will,” Jones said. “If you’re vaccinated and don’t want to wear one, please don’t pass judgment on others who do.”

Jones and Page appeared with Dr. Fredrick Echols, the city’s director of the Department of Health. All three echoed the sentiment that personal accountability is, and always has, been essential in protecting everyone’s health.

Jones said while business owners are allowed to ask about a customer’s vaccination status, she hopes it doesn’t turn into a 'show me your papers' moment.

“We'll just have to trust what people tell us,” she said.

Page noted the significance of the moment by recognizing he’s appeared before the media at least 125 times since the pandemic began giving updates.

“Oftentimes, the news was hard to deliver,” Page said.

“On March 7 of last year, I stood with Gov. Parson and announced the first case of COVID-19 in this area, [which] was in St. Louis County. Two weeks later, I announced the first death — a nurse.”

Last Thursday, those who are 12 years and older were eligible for vaccinations.

“This really is a proud moment for the St. Louis region,” Page said.

“It’s great to see more smiles, it’s great to hear the stories of family members spending more time together because they can now do so safely because they have been vaccinated. We’ve made great progress — thanks to all of you for making that happen.”

The announcement came two days after Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sued St. Louis County in an effort to lift public COVID-19 health regulations.

While Page and Jones announced the lifting of restrictions, Schmitt tweeted.

“3 days after I sued St. Louis County Exec Sam Page for his #ForeverLockdown, never-ending & burdensome #COVID19 restrictions — he has reversed course  & they have been lifted - as they were indefensible in court. A huge win for freedom & the people & businesses of St. Louis Co.”

Schmitt failed to mention that the city and County lifted the mask mandate a day after the CDC changed its guidelines, saying it was appropriate to do so.

P.O. Box 410091
Saint Louis, MO 63141
Paid for by Page for Missouri, Sue Felling, Treasurer

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