St. Louis reinstates indoor mask mandate to stem rise in cases despite state AG's threat to sue

St. Louis reinstates indoor mask mandate to stem rise in cases despite state AG's threat to sue

Posted: Jul 26, 2021 9:31 PM
Updated: Jul 26, 2021 9:31 PM

The city of St. Louis and St. Louis County reinstated an indoor mask mandate on Monday to try to stop the spread of Covid-19, even as Missouri's attorney general followed through on a threat to sue over the requirement.

Beginning Monday, St. Louis required those ages 5 and older to wear masks in indoor public spaces and on public transportation.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the mandate on the day it went into effect.

The mandate, intended to cut down on further spread of the virus, applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Exceptions would include people who are seated in a restaurant or bar eating and drinking and individuals with disabilities that prevent them from putting on or removing face coverings, according to a news release.

At a press conference, Mayor Tishaura Jones said the city is still at a "dangerous point" with the virus, facing infection numbers not seen since December.

Missouri and its neighbor, Arkansas, have had some of the highest infection and hospitalization rates of the past few weeks amid a recent surge that has particularly hit unvaccinated communities.

About 41% of the Missouri's population is fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. St. Louis has fully vaccinated just 35.4% of its residents, the most recent dashboard by the state shows.

The CDC has said that people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks inside or outside. Studies show that the vaccines, though not 100% effective, protect against Covid-19 infection and severe illness.

St. Louis is one of a number of cities that have reissued indoor mask mandates amid the continued spread of Covid-19 and its more transmissible Delta variant. Los Angeles County in California; Provincetown, Massachusetts; and Savannah, Georgia are among the cities that have similarly returned to mask requirements in recent days.

Schmitt, a Republican who is running for the US Senate, blasted the mask mandate as "unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious, unconstitutional, and unlawful."

"This continued government overreach is unacceptable and unconstitutional, especially in the face of a widely available vaccine," Schmitt said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. "There is absolutely no scientific reason to continue to force children to wear a mask in school," he adds.

After Schmitt announced his intention to bring a lawsuit in a tweet over the weekend, Mayor Jones said his threat was "frivolous," and it serves "his own interests at the expense of public health."

"It's easy to grandstand (when) your biggest concern is filming your next campaign commercial and chasing clout," Jones said about Schmitt.

The highest uptick in vaccinations is in the city's Black community, Jones said. Those same neighborhoods, she said, make up 74% of the new cases. The city is sending vaccination trucks to communities hardest hit by the virus, she said, and they are "meeting people where they are" in order to get them vaccinated.

She also said that her entire family is vaccinated, including her 13-year-old son.

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Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 681613

Reported Deaths: 8076
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1403921855
Ramsey58542944
Dakota52093497
Anoka48037479
Washington30637309
Stearns24839240
St. Louis20269335
Scott19626145
Wright18499163
Olmsted15792110
Sherburne13522100
Carver1206952
Clay915295
Rice9104120
Blue Earth866347
Crow Wing7797102
Kandiyohi744188
Chisago711658
Otter Tail666691
Benton6439101
Mower558038
Winona554452
Goodhue550080
Douglas535484
Itasca516671
Beltrami504672
McLeod501463
Steele500921
Isanti490170
Morrison467563
Nobles448650
Becker434559
Polk433675
Freeborn429538
Lyon394254
Carlton389559
Nicollet377647
Pine373726
Mille Lacs354360
Brown346443
Cass343035
Le Sueur340829
Todd321734
Meeker304749
Waseca288625
Martin261933
Wabasha24334
Dodge24064
Hubbard232241
Roseau231723
Houston203816
Renville199548
Redwood198242
Fillmore194710
Pennington190221
Wadena185126
Faribault179725
Cottonwood176624
Sibley175810
Chippewa171239
Kanabec164129
Aitkin155038
Watonwan155011
Rock138519
Jackson134712
Pope13058
Yellow Medicine125120
Pipestone125026
Swift117119
Koochiching116519
Murray115110
Stevens112211
Marshall103518
Clearwater101918
Lake91021
Wilkin89614
Lac qui Parle84824
Big Stone6814
Mahnomen6819
Grant6718
Lincoln6524
Norman6509
Kittson53322
Unassigned51593
Red Lake4777
Traverse4215
Lake of the Woods3884
Cook2120

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 432122

Reported Deaths: 6339
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk67341672
Linn25698353
Scott22828261
Black Hawk19121334
Woodbury16940233
Johnson1659690
Dubuque14547218
Pottawattamie13058183
Dallas12746102
Story1187148
Warren685993
Webster6304102
Cerro Gordo6212102
Clinton620097
Des Moines594482
Muscatine5781108
Unassigned57410
Marshall564280
Sioux542775
Jasper516575
Lee511078
Wapello4993128
Buena Vista472942
Marion449083
Plymouth434083
Henry339940
Jones331158
Bremer325365
Crawford321644
Carroll317053
Washington315754
Benton312656
Boone308736
Mahaska275453
Dickinson270846
Kossuth251471
Jackson246044
Clay245729
Tama238273
Delaware234643
Buchanan233938
Hardin230847
Page221624
Cedar220525
Fayette220345
Wright217641
Winneshiek215937
Hamilton211752
Harrison198875
Clayton194458
Madison193820
Butler188836
Floyd187742
Mills185224
Poweshiek181036
Cherokee179440
Iowa176425
Allamakee176252
Lyon174441
Jefferson169138
Calhoun168313
Hancock167335
Winnebago164231
Grundy158835
Cass155556
Louisa154949
Shelby151739
Appanoose151249
Emmet149541
Franklin148524
Humboldt147226
Sac144722
Union144237
Mitchell141643
Guthrie138132
Chickasaw137518
Palo Alto131124
Clarke125024
Montgomery122239
Keokuk116232
Howard115622
Monroe114033
Ida107538
Davis103125
Pocahontas99023
Greene98012
Adair95334
Monona94733
Lucas94523
Worth9268
Osceola83717
Decatur74510
Fremont74111
Taylor72412
Van Buren70919
Wayne65123
Ringgold62226
Audubon58414
Adams3914
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