St. Louis City employee mask mandate ends after a few hours

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – After only a few hours of requiring city employees to mask up indoors again, the decision has been reversed.

The Department of Health released an updated statement Friday afternoon saying employees were strongly recommended to wear a mask indoors after announcing earlier in the morning that masks were required. The prior decision was made due to an increasing number of cases regarding RSV, COVID-19, and influenza.

The department also clarified information that was released Thursday about the percent changes from this season to previous seasons. The data now shows the difference for one month.

Influenza had the highest increase in the number of cases, with over a 450% spike. Those aged 25–49 had the largest number of infections, followed by children aged 5–14 years old. COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 38%, with 270 people hospitalized during the week of Dec. 23. RSV positive tests also showed an increase of 34%, with 400 positive tests.

Light rain and snow to impact Friday evening plans

After the Department of Health released the original statement requiring masks, Senator Eric Schmitt released a statement regarding the mandate.

“Individuals have a right to make their own decisions when it comes to wearing masks – I fought these ridiculous mandates when I was Missouri’s Attorney General, and I will continue to do everything in my power to fight COVID tyranny,” said Schmitt.

In the mask guidance letter sent to employees, it stated that only 11% of St. Louis City residents were up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccine.

For information about where to receive a vaccine for RSV, Influenza or COVID-19, visit this website.


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