St. Louis County, City announce masks mandatory in public areas


Sophia Scheller

On March 18, a woman loads up her car after shopping at Walmart. As a precaution, she wore gloves and a mask in order to delay the transmission of COVID-19.

The City of St. Louis and St. Louis County have ordered that beginning Friday, July 3, at 7 a.m, citizens are required to wear face masks in public areas.

The announcement was made by Dr. Alex Garza, the head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force during his daily briefing, all of which can be found on the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force’s Facebook.

The order requires that face masks be worn when citizens are in a business or public area, regardless of the area being indoors or outdoors.

The specific requirements of the order are that if citizens are in a public area where they interact with people that they do not live with and/or if they are attending a gathering of people they don’t come into contact with daily, masks are mandatory. The order extends to all citizens who are aged nine and above.

Those who are exempt from the order include citizens with medical conditions, citizens that are hearing impaired and require their mouth to communicate, citizens who are socially distant while eating and drinking at an established business, citizens who are swimming at a pool, citizens who are receiving a face service and citizens who are physically exerting themselves by playing a sport or exercising.

Violation of the order is punishable under Missouri state law. Another citizen or business is able to make calls to the county with complaints, which could result in a call or letter of warning towards the citizen. If multiple violations against a citizen take place, that citizen could potentially face jail time or a $1,000 fine as a last resort.

Businesses are permitted by law to refuse service to any citizen that refuses to wear a mask in their establishment if they are not able to produce medical documentation of their condition or disability.

As of now, 19 US states require face masks to be worn in public. Additionally, the United States Surgeon General, Vice Adm. Jerome Adams, has recommended that all Americans wear face masks when going out.

Face masks have been shown to significantly reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Citizens are permitted to make their own face masks from cloth and the steps to do so can be found in this article from KSDK.