- DOYLE MURPHY
- St. Louis County has a new mask mandate in place.
The first St. Louis County Council meeting of the year saw the approval of a mask mandate and the promise of a lawsuit from Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
The council voted to require masks in an ordinance along party lines as the omicron variant surges, causing record-breaking cases in the community
. Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, D-5th District, introduced the legislation last night. Council Republicans opposed, questioning its legality, but County Counselor Beth Orwick assured the legislation was valid. Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-6th District, called the mandate “soft tyranny” while Councilman Mark Harder, R-7th District, said he hoped the first thing Schmitt did today was file suit against the county.
And it looks like Schmitt will fulfill Harder's hopes. Shortly after the council meeting ended and the mandate was approved in a 4-3 vote, Schmitt announced his intention to sue the county in two tweets from the attorney general’s office and his personal account.
“The COVID tyrants are at it again in St. Louis Co with another illegal masking order,” Schmitt wrote
. “They simply refuse to relinquish their power to the people who can make these decisions themselves.”
In a separate tweet
, the attorney general’s office said they will take legal action “soon.”
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page thanked the council on Twitter after the meeting, saying the mandate will result in less confusion and calling masks the path to freedom. Similarly, Missouri Representative Cori Bush applauded the move in a tweet
, saying she was "happy to see the County Council acting to keep folks safe in St. Louis."
The mask mandate went into effect this morning and applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents of the county older than five years of age. It will remain in effect until it’s amended or rescinded.
Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]
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