CITY HALL – People will need to keep those face masks on for a bit longer, as the Board of Aldermen voted Monday to adopt the latest order from the city’s health commissioner extending the current mask mandate.
The order by Dr. Frederick Echols, Commissioner of Health, will take effect on Dec. 23 and run for 30 days – and perhaps more.
Echols said in a statement that his intent was “to ensure that the maximum number of individuals take prudent precautions to reduce the exposure to, and slow the spread of” the COVID-19 virus.
He noted the emergence of the new Omicron virus variant and the fact that more than 30 percent of eligible city residents have not gotten even a single dose of a vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people – whether vaccinated or unvaccinated – in “substantial” or “high” transmission areas wear masks indoors. Missouri remains a “high transmission” jurisdiction.
So everyone ages 5 and older must wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth while in indoor and enclosed public buildings and spaces, and while using public transportation.
There are some exceptions, for people who:
- Have an official order or documentation from a medical or behavioral health provider to not wear face coverings
- Are are actively eating or drinking
- Have trouble breathing, or are unconscious or incapacitated
- Are getting a service involving the nose or face
- Hold religious beliefs or practices that prohibit the wearing of a face covering
- Have disabilities that prevent them from wearing or taking off face coverings, or from communicating while wearing such a covering