With the reopening of businesses and restaurants, face-to-face interactions have increased—and so has the spread of COVID-19. To help prevent infections, St. Louis County and St. Louis City are requiring face coverings for everyone in enclosed public places starting Friday, July 3, at 7 a.m.

The goal of the order is to ensure people protect themselves and others—especially those who are most likely to have complications from the virus, including seniors and people with pre-existing health conditions. North St. Louis County has seen higher rates of infection than other parts of the metro area, so it’s especially important to follow the order in the 24:1 Community to protect our fellow residents.

  • All people over age 9 must wear a mask or face covering when inside stores, restaurants (except when eating), and other indoor public spaces in St. Louis City and County. People also need to wear masks in outdoor public spaces when social distancing isn’t possible.
  • Children ages 3-9 are strongly encouraged to wear masks, but not required to. Children under the age of 2 do not have to wear masks.

The number of new coronavirus cases has increased more than 80 percent in the St. Louis area in the past week, and by 40 percent across the state of Missouri.

Scientific research has shown that COVID-19 is spread by people who are infected but don’t show symptoms. Wearing masks—including non-medical grade cloth coverings—is an effective way to stop the spread of the droplets that carry the virus.

Businesses and nonprofits must display a reminder for customers to wear face coverings when they enter and while inside.

The orders were put in place after the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, which includes the region’s four largest healthcare systems, encouraged all St. Louis-area residents to wear face coverings.

For more information or to read the order from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, visit St. Louis County’s coronavirus website.