BERKELEY, Mo. – COVID-19 cases are surging and St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page announced new restrictions to try and control the viral transmission. Page says the measures are designed to flatten the infection curve.
7 New Guidelines:
- Only gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted. Any group that had its plan for an event pre-approved should expect to be contacted by the Department of Public Health to discuss their specific circumstances.
- Occupancy rules for all businesses will revert to where they were in June at 25% occupancy.
- The Department of Public Health is ordering that all bars close at 10 P.M. every night. The late night and early morning hours are times when social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding crowds are simply not being followed.
- The Department of Public Health will be finding new ways to make sure all businesses are following the rules — for the safety of their workers, workers’ families, and their customers.
- It is also recommended that all people who are awaiting their COVID test results quarantine until they receive the results. Right now, not all asymptomatic patients have been quarantining, but we now strongly recommend that they do so. It is recommended that employers work with employees to make quarantining possible.
- Action will also be taken this week to ensure that all health providers are getting their results reported in a timely manner. Due to delays, the Department of Public Health issued a Rapid Notification Order. But not all testing providers are complying, especially urgent care providers.
- The Director of Human Services has been asked to help provide a safe places for teachers who need to quarantine. Teachers, virtual or in-classroom, are always important, but in a few weeks, teachers will be the new front-line workers.
This all comes after St. Louis County reported 523 additional COVID-19 cases Sunday. That’s the most ever reported in a single day, breaking the old record of 375 new cases that was set two days earlier on Friday. County officials had been gradually easing restrictions until recently.
Coronavirus cases in St. Louis County have increased over the past six weeks. Starting with the week of June 15th through the 21st there were 284 new cases in St. Louis County. That number climbed to just over one thousand new cases by the week of July 6th through the 12th. Over the last week, there have been more than 2,200 new COVID-19 cases reported in St. Louis County. New COVID-19 deaths in St. Louis County have not seen such a steep increase. There have been 25 since July 13th.
Dr. Page says he has been working closely with health experts including the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force. Page’s statement reading in part, “We are concerned about the recent increase in COVID-19 cases across the region. New restrictions must be put in place to slow the community spread of this virus.”
These new restrictions come after St. Louis County recently put additional restrictions on youth sports and as area school districts continue to face challenges about what to do when school starts back up next month.