ST. LOUIS – Additional restrictions are coming to St. Louis County next week due to the rising COVID-19 numbers. The restrictions start Tuesday, November 17 and will be in place for four weeks. Authorities said they will then re-evaluate the situation.
“This won’t be easy, and this won’t be fun,” Page said. “We know the holidays are quickly approaching and we all want to spend time with our family, but we strongly discourage large traditional family gatherings.”
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page’s Chief Spokesperson Doug Moore said these measures aren’t quite as restrictive as the stay-at-home order from back in the spring, but they are significant. Page is calling the plan a “safer-at-home” order.
After being one of the first counties to implement a stay-at-home order at the beginning of the global pandemic, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page officially announced the county would be moving back into stricter restrictions.
“Every local jurisdiction has to make their decision based on their demographics,” Page said regarding St. Louis County’s stricter guidelines in comparison to adjacent counties.
- Restaurants and bars will have to close to indoor service but they will be able to have outdoor dining as well as drive-thru and curbside service.
- Businesses, including gyms will be reduced to 25 percent of their occupancy limits from the current 50 percent. Gym patrons must wear masks even when they’re working out.
- Gatherings will only be able to have a maximum of ten people, down from the current limit of 49.
- And although people can go to workplaces, they are strongly encouraged to work from home.
- Schools can remain open and school sports can continue using current safety guidelines, but club sports will have to submit a plan to the health department. P
- People are being asked to form social bubbles with ten or less family members or friends and limit all interactions to that group.
“We are working very closely with our superintendents,” Page said. “We understand that learning and education are needed, and we’re trying to remain as flexible as possible to allow that education to move forward.”
Although there were talks with other counites about coordinating actions, St. Louis County is moving forward with these restrictions on its own.
“I wish this wasn’t where we had to go, but it is. The virus continues to rage across our country and across our community,” Page said. “A national strategy would have helped us a good deal, but this is where we are today and we have to move forward.
Hospitals in the St. Louis region are struggling to keep up with the increasing number of COVID patients as health officials warn it may become difficult to sustain quality healthcare for the ill.
The region, which includes hospitals on both sides of the Mississippi River, has set new records for averages of hospital admission and hospitalizations.
“We have to make sure that our hospitals are not overrun,” Page said. “We have to take these actions to make sure the people who are otherwise sick with other medical problems with injuries or accidents have a place to go in our hospitals.”
Dr. Sam Page responded to Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s announcement to change state guidelines on public schools and quarantining.
“St. Louis County is going to continue to follow the CDC guidance on isolation surrounding the public schools,” Page said. “We understand that isolation and quarantine is certainly at least inconvenient on schools, but we also know that isolation or quarantine is the best intervention that we have to control the spread of this virus.”