The City of St. Louis Department of Health is partnering with its Clergy Advisory Board (CAB) to continue battling COVID-19 in the City of St. Louis. The CAB is assisting the Department in distributing N95 masks and educating residents on why wearing a mask is still important even though the face coverings are no longer mandated in the City and in other areas of the country.
The Department of Health is warning residents that as we transition into the new normal without mask mandates and other required public health COVID-19 mitigation measures, the community will have to look out for the health of family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues. This need is heightened for anyone at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including people with pre-existing medical conditions, those with weakened immune systems, people at risk for severe disease, those 65 or older, children under 5 not eligible for vaccination and unable to wear a mask, and children not eligible for boosters. The need is also heightened for people around all these individuals as well as people living in congregate living facilities, individuals at faith community gatherings and those at social festivities.
“The Department of Health is fortunate to have a CAB that not only understands the ongoing risk COVID-19 poses for some of the most vulnerable members of our community but is also willing to step up and assist in providing protection to those community members,” says Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, Director of Health for the City of St. Louis. “This Saturday CAB members will be out in the community leading by example, going door to door doing this work.”
“Our faith leaders are some of the most trusted messengers in our community,” said Rev. Darryl Gray, Sr., Pastor of Greater Fairfax Missionary Baptist Church. “We know that wearing a mask is a proven successful means of reducing the spread of COVID-19. The CAB has recruited 21 churches and other faith-based organizations to assist with this April 9th mask distribution and mask education community engagement efforts.”
The Saint Louis Mental Health Board (MHB) has been an additional trusted partner in connecting city services to faith-based organizations. “Throughout this pandemic we have relied on credible messengers to reach communities that might otherwise be missed. MHB has provided staff support to the CAB since it began in 2020, to ensure that this important partnership is positioned to serve in a way that only they can,” says Cassandra Kaufman, Executive Director of the Saint Louis MHB.
For more information about the Department of Health and its Clergy Advisory Board, contact the Department of Health at 314-657-1568.