St. Louis Abruptly Rescinds Mask Mandate 24 Hours After Issuance - Conservative Nation
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St. Louis Abruptly Rescinds Mask Mandate 24 Hours After Issuance



Authorities in St. Louis, Missouri, rescinded a recently announced mask mandate, acknowledging that they did not properly present the current levels of infection.

Dr. Matifadza Hlatshwayo Davis, the health director of St. Louis, had initially told city workers that starting January 5, they would be required to wear masks indoors and when riding with at least one other person in city vehicles.

This mandate was based on the assertion that influenza cases were 55% higher than the “highest median value of the past five years,” and cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19 hospitalizations had increased.

“Influenza, RSV, and COVID-19 diagnoses and hospital visits have been sharply increasing,” Davis said. She added, “we must take action to slow transmission and prevent strain on our hospital systems.”

However, the mandate was withdrawn about 24 hours later, as confirmed by St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones.

“The City of St. Louis has updated its communications with employees surrounding masking. The City of St. Louis Department of Health strongly recommends masking indoors for all City of St. Louis employees, effective immediately,” the mayor’s office said.

On January 4, the health department cited data from the BHC Healthcare system showing a spike in RSV cases and the increased influenza cases. However, on Friday, the health department conducted a further review of the data and sought to “clarify the information.”

“Previously reported percent change estimates compared the current RSV and flu seasons to the median of previous seasons but did not adequately adjust for differences in temporality,” health officials explained.

BJC HealthCare officials told KSDK-TV that the system was not experiencing a strain on hospital capacity and that the number of cases of respiratory infections was typical. Dr. Jim Hinrichs, the interim co-director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, mentioned that influenza levels were actually lower than last year.

The St. Louis Department of Health’s most recent influenza season weekly report, dated December 23, 2023, indicated that influenza-like illness reports constituted about 2.4% of all visits to emergency departments in the city. The average number of daily visits was higher than the previous fall and winter but lower than the fall and winter of 2022-2023.

New COVID-19 hospital admissions were up to 312 for the week ending December 30, 2023, the highest number on record in data offered since May 2023. However, there were no indications that officials differentiated between incidental hospitalizations and hospital admissions directly related to COVID-19.

Despite the lack of strong data supporting the efficacy of influenza, RSV and COVID-19 vaccines, St. Louis officials continue to recommend vaccination.

“If we all do our part and voluntarily mask up, we can expect the number of cases and hospitalizations to decrease over the coming weeks,” Davis said in a statement.

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