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St. Louis County rescinds mask mandate after judge’s ruling

Weeks after a Missouri judge barred public mask mandates issued by local health departments, St. Louis County on Thursday rescinded the mandate for Missouri’s largest county.

The county’s decision was announced Thursday during a court hearing in a lawsuit filed by Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. The lawsuit filed in July was in response to a previous mask mandate aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“We expect more local public health authorities and school districts to follow suit in the coming days and weeks,” Schmitt said in a news release.

The St. Louis County mandate required face coverings in indoor public settings and on public transit, even for those who have been vaccinated.

In November, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green declared that health orders issued by local authorities under state health regulations were “null and void.”

A statement Thursday from the city of St. Louis said its mask mandate will remain in effect, noting that aldermen have renewed the requirement every 30 days as required by Missouri law. The statement cites the state’s own data showing areas with mask mandates with lower rates of COVID-19 infections.

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