The City of St. Louis Department of Health continues to strongly recommend wearing masks in crowded spaces, especially for passengers using public transportation.
A court ruling in Florida has struck down the mass mandate on public transportation. This decision comes as some of the most vulnerable members of our community remain at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and cases are climbing, with the BA.2 omicron subvariant, which is more contagious than its predecessor, becoming the predominant strain in the United States. Since early April there has been an increase in the 7-day moving average of cases locally and in areas across the U.S. This may be the start of a larger surge.
“Although wearing mask is no longer mandated across public transportation systems individuals can still protect themselves, and assist in preventing a future surge by choosing on their own to wear masks while traveling,” says Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, Director of health for the City of St. Louis. “Since you don’t know the vaccination status of other travelers or whether another person is infected with COVID-19 the City of St. Louis Department of Health strongly recommends wearing a mask when traveling.”
Studies show mask wearing can assist in reducing the spread of the virus and certain segments of the city’s population continue to need the protection of masks including:
- People with pre-existing medical conditions;
- People with a weakened immune system or around people who have weakened immune systems;
- If you are at risk, or around someone at risk, for severe disease;
- If you are over 65 years old or are around people who are over 65 years old;
- Around children under the age of 5, who are not eligible for vaccination, many of whom are unable to wear a mask;
- Around children (ages 5 - 11) who are not eligible for boosters;
- In congregate living facilities; at faith community gatherings; and social festivities
It’s crucial to the health of our community that we look out for the health of our family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors through continued safety measures:
- Wearing a mask to protect others when we feel we need to do so,
- Getting fully vaccinated and boosted when eligible
- Staying home from school or work if you feel sick or experience COVID-19 symptoms
- Test for COVID-19 if exposed or showing COVID-19 symptoms
The Department of Health will continue providing support to the community through vaccine clinics partnerships, making personal protective equipment available to vulnerable populations, including teachers, the unhoused, and residents in need of social support, and remaining a resource for information and guidance about COVID-19 and all community health concerns.