By ERIC X. VICCARO
If you plan on visiting any city building, you’ll need to bring a mask yet again.
The board of aldermen decided to bring back a mask mandate during COVID-19 (coronavirus) discussions at its regular meeting on Thursday, Jan. 13, at Ste. Genevieve City Hall.
That also means people attending the next board meeting scheduled for Jan. 27 will need to wear a mask. The mandate was reinstated on Friday. City offices were closed Monday due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Welch said a new mandate was needed because the number of COVID-19 cases is currently above the base metric the city uses as a determinant, which is daily average cases.
According to the latest information posted by the Ste. Genevieve Health Department, there was 32 new confirmed cases – with none considered just probable or suspect.
The health department also has released running totals since the pandemic struck in March 2020. (See table accompanying this story.)
Ste. Genevieve County Health Department administrator Jennifer Mueller – in a letter to Welch – noted quarantine guidelines have changed.
“For a positive case, stay home for five days from the onset of symptoms,” Mueller wrote in the letter. “If on Day Six, your symptoms are gone, you may return to work/school wearing a mask for five additional days.”
Mueller explained for a fully vaccinated household contact, you may continue working/schooling – but, wear a mask and monitor symptoms for 10 days.
For an unvaccinated contact, stay home for five days and monitor for symptoms.
If no symptoms are present, return to school or work wearing a mask for five additional days.
If symptoms are present, get tested or treat yourself as a positive case.
Using updated numbers from Friday, Jan. 14, 51.9 percent of Ste. Genevieve County residents five years of age and older have initiated the vaccine process, and 48.3 percent the series.
COVID-19 testing is performed at the Plaza Walk-In or Bloomsdale Clinics. Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital has a separate testing site if you are well, and need a test for school, work or an upcoming special event.
Mueller reported wastewater sampling regionally is returning both Delta and Omicron variants.
“We continue to ask people to be smart and do the right thing,” Mueller concluded. “If you are not feeling well, please stay home and avoid being in crowds. Once you feel better, then resume normal activities. Common sense is all we ask.”
What’s more, Mueller noted there are positive influenza cases as well.
Welch said it’s vital to protect everyone entering city hall, visitors, customers and employees alike.
Buildings under the mandate are city hall, the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park Welcome Center, street department, water plant, wastewater plant, water/sewer shed and park house inside Pere Marquette Park.