But Ehlmann said mask mandates are impossible to enforce.
“Have the COVID police shown up and told them, put a mask on?” he asked. “Isn’t what they’re doing basically voluntary anyway?”
In St. Louis, Krewson on Friday said the city would not issue new restrictions, after announcing an order Thursday that will limit private gatherings to no more than 10 people.
The city has recorded a far lower rate of new COVID-19 cases per capita than surrounding counties, she said, and most new COVID-19 cases in St. Louis were linked to small social gatherings, not businesses.
“We’re trying to put the restrictions where we know the problem to be,” Krewson said. “We based this order that we issued on the data…. If that changes, of course we are always going to continue to consider all the other options.”
Recent spikes in COVID-19 cases were traced to small gatherings around Halloween, Krewson said, warning against similar gatherings for the Thanksgiving holiday.
But St. Louis County’s actions on Friday generated some quick support — even among restaurateurs.
The Breakaway Cafe in Bel-Nor, a neighborhood restaurant near the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will have its last night of indoor dining on Saturday, pare back its menu, and pivot to take-out orders, owner Matt Quinlisk said Friday. He may set up some heat lamps on the cafe’s small patio for outdoor dining.