JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. ( - A Cole County judge has ruled that local health departments across Missouri cannot issue orders and must be lifted.

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit by Ben Brown, who owns Satchmo's Bar and Grill in Chesterfield. Brown has long been opposed to the mask mandates that have been issued by St. Louis County Executive Sam Page. The court said such orders violate the separation of powers affecting the different branches of government.

Page issued a mask mandate for St. Louis County, which was later overturned by a vote of the St. Louis County Council. Page later issued a new mask mandate. The first mandate has been the subject of lawsuits by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. 

Page issued the following the statement in response:

“We are aware of the recent court decision from Cole County. St. Louis County is not a party to that lawsuit. The next hearing in the St. Louis County mask case is November 30. We hope everyone will follow the masking and social distancing practices that public health experts recommend over the Thanksgiving holidays.”

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