St. Louis County, city lift mask mandates for vaccinated people, following new federal guidance

No changes for schools under new guidelines

St.+Louis+County+Executive+Sam+Page+attends+the+ribbon-cutting+ceremony+at+9+Mile+Garden%2C+a+food+truck+garden+in+Affton+that+is+the+first+in+the+state.+The+food+truck+garden+officially+opened+July+3.+

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page attends the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 Mile Garden, a food truck garden in Affton that is the first in the state. The food truck garden officially opened July 3.

By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis are lifting the mask mandates for vaccinated people along with most other public-health orders in the St. Louis region as of Friday, following new guidance from federal health authorities. Businesses can still individually decide whether to require masks, however.

“Get vaccinated and you have the ability to shed your mask,” said County Executive Sam Page in a joint press conference with St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones at St. Louis City Hall. “Businesses have the ability to continue to require masks if they want to, and it’s time to get vaccinated.”

Unvaccinated people still have to wear a mask indoors and socially distance indoors and out under the guidance but enforcement will be on the honor system.

Going indoors without a mask if you’re not yet vaccinated is still risky, Jones emphasized. But those who have not yet gotten a shot can schedule or walk up for appointments in many places across the St. Louis region, including a federally run vaccination site at The Dome at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis, with free parking at 6th and Cole.

“Masks were a small inconvenience to get us to where we are today —  a historic moment in the pandemic that has brought relief and hope to everyone in our community,” Page said.

Page, Jones and city health director Fredrick Echols all emphasized that the city and county will strive to issue identical guidelines — something that did not always happen between the city and county while Lyda Krewson was mayor for most of the year.

In addition to those who are unvaccinated having to wear masks everywhere, everyone has to still wear masks on public transit, in hospitals, senior living facilities, schools, daycares, jails and homeless shelters under the city-county orders.

Schools and daycares still have to wear masks inside, even if a teacher or student is vaccinated, to encourage compliance from the remaining children and students who are not yet vaccinated or can’t be vaccinated yet.

The Pfizer vaccine is now approved for children ages 12-15.