Employees and visitors to county buildings in St. Louis County will now need to wear a face mask.  Effective August 11, the requirement for a face mask applies to all visitors - regardless of vaccination status.

The move comes as COVID-19 numbers in St. Louis County - especially those with the Delta variant - continue to rise.  According to details released by the county with the announcement, St. Louis County has seen 120 new cases over the past week, against a total population of 200,000 residents.  That number represents a substantial transmission rate as defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC "defines substantial transmission as 50 or more new cases per 100,000 residents in a week".

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To date, St. Louis County is tracking well with COVID-19 vaccination rates.  According to data released by the county health department, 116,522 people have received at least one dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines.  Translated into a percentage, that equals about 67.7% of the total population of St. Louis County that is age 16 years or older.

Even with the vaccine, public health officials are encouraging the wearing of a face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and it's variants.  County health officials shared that "[w]earing a face mask is a proven way to limit spread of COVID-19, in particular to the unvaccinated, including children who are too young to be eligible for the vaccine."

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At the same time, the county continues to promote getting the COVID-19 vaccine when possible. To find a vaccine site near you, click here to visit the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector. Along with details about the locals for each site, the website also provides a lot of details and resources about both COVID-19 and the vaccines - including demographic data, weekly and monthly numbers, and more.

Grace Rowan/Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley

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