St. Louis officials to reinstate some mask requirements
O’FALLON, Mo. — St. Louis city and county officials say they will require masks in some public places starting Monday, citing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases spurred by the delta variant.
Masks will be mandatory in indoor public places and on public transportation for everyone age 5 or older, even for those who are vaccinated, officials said in a news release on Friday. Masking outdoors “will be strongly encouraged,” especially in group settings.
The decision comes as both of Missouri’s urban areas are seeing a big uptick in cases in hospitalizations that began in rural areas of the state, especially in southwestern Missouri. The Kansas City Star reported Friday that medical leaders in that region appear to be on the verge of calling for a new mask mandate there as well.
Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the city of St. Louis, said more than 500 St. Louisans have already died from 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.”
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