Masks recommended indoor, public places for St. Louis County
Health officials in St. Louis County announced Monday that masks are once again recommended for all indoor, public places in St. Louis County due to substantial transmission rates.
The CDC shows St. Louis County is experiencing substantial transmission of COVID-19. Officials say this means everyone is recommended to again wear face masks in indoor, public places, regardless of vaccination status. Substantial transmission is defined by the CDC as 50 or more cases in a week per 100,000 residents. As of today, the case rate in St. Louis County has risen to 54.4 cases per 100,000 residents.
"We are as frustrated as anyone, but more than that, we are concerned by this growth in cases," Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director said in a press release. "We all want to put this pandemic behind us, but the highly contagious Delta variant is demonstrating why it is so important for people to get vaccinated. There are pockets in St. Louis County that have low vaccination rates that remain concerning."
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Previously only unvaccinated people were recommended to wear masks indoors in public places. However, with the rapid growth in cases attributed to the Delta variant, the CDC now recommends even vaccinated people to mask up to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent spreading it to others.
County health officials say 114,987 people have received at least their first dose of a COVID vaccine so far in the county. This represents 67% of people ages 16+. Anyone who has not yet gotten vaccinated, or who is overdue for a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, can find vaccine clinics offered by St. Louis County Public Health by visiting stlouiscountymn.gov/vaccineregistration. People also may contact their medical provider to ask about vaccine appointments, or visit mn.gov/COVID19/vaccine.
As a reminder, any Minnesotan who receives their first dose of a COVID vaccine now through August 15 is eligible to receive a $100 Visa gift card from the state.