County mask mandate ends Monday


St. Louis County’s mask mandate will end Monday.

County Executive Sam Page announced Tuesday that the county mask mandate, which went into effect Jan. 5, will come to an end Monday as COVID cases in the region continue to decline. The change is effective 8 a.m. Feb. 28.

The county health department will instead have an advisory encouraging masking.

“With a mask mandate and a continued effort to get more people vaccinated and the virus weakening, we are in a much better place today, a place where we are cautiously optimistic,” Page said at a press briefing Tuesday. “A place where we can move from a mask requirement to a mask recommendation.”
Page said the county was approaching the necessary metrics to end the mask mandate, such as a lower average daily case rate and lower positivity rate.
“Consider this, at the beginning of January our seven-day average of daily cases was 2,700. Today, we are down … our positivity rate is now under 10 percent after having been three times higher,” Page said. “Based on these trends, we are confident we can end the county’s mask mandate on Monday.”
Schools, businesses and other institutions can continue to enforce their own rules, Page added.
The current mask mandate was put into place Jan. 5 after 4-3 vote of the St. Louis County Council and required people over the age of 5 to wear a mask “while in indoor and enclosed public buildings and paces” in St. Louis County. A federal mandate requiring masks on public transportation remains in effect through March 18.

At the time the county’s mandate was put in place, the county was dealing with record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases and a positivity rate above 30 percent due to the Omicron variant.