ST. LOUIS - The city of St. Louis is banning events of more than 1,000 people to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This comes after the NCAA tournament that was scheduled to come to town was canceled. Crowds at churches, schools, and certain other locations are exempt.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson announced several steps the city is taking to stop the spread of the coronavirus on Monday.
The mayor and several city officials, including the city health director, police chief, and fire chief were called to the mayor's office for a news conference. Officials said they were not aware of any confirmed case of coronavirus in St. Louis City. They said there are about 20 people in the region who are being monitored or have been tested and in some are in self-quarantine.
Since health officials are warning those over 60 years of age to avoid large crowds and close contact with others, the St. Louis Health Director Dr. Fredrick Echols issued an order limiting the number of people that can attend an event.
"So today as the director of the department of health of the City of St. Louis, under my emergency powers, I declare any events in excess of 1,000 people prohibited with the exception of religious services until further notice," he said. "This does not include day-to-day operations such as schools, academic institutions, etc. but any event in excess of a thousand is strictly prohibited until further notice."
The city also began placing hand washing stations throughout downtown, available to the public, including the homeless who may not always have easy access to soap and water, to wash their hands to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Earlier today, Krewson also ordered the water department to stop water shutoffs for the next 60 days for hygiene reasons. There are also handwashing stations throughout downtown.
The city also enacted the unified health command to share timely information among 18 jurisdictions.