ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – COVID-19 cases have jumped in some parts of St. Charles County. St. Peters, O’Fallon, and Wentzville have been singled out by the St. Louis Pandemic Task Force as COVID hot spots in the county.
“The one thing people do need to understand is we are concerned about growth but we’re starting that growth from a different point,” said St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “Five weeks ago, we had a third as many cases as St. Louis. Now we have half as many cases.”
Ehlmann and the mayors in St. Charles County have joined together in an effort to encourage all residents to wear a mask. Ehlmann hopes it can help and knows it can’t hurt.
“We’re doing everything we can to educate the people on the necessity of masks,” he said. “We simply have not resorted to the government forcing them to.”
Meanwhile, St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page is closing county bars at 10 p.m. this Friday.
Ehlman said he’s worried that people will be coming to st. Charles County to hit up their bars. He said they are reaching out to their bar owners to make sure they keep proper social distancing in place. If positive cases continue, St. Charles County may have to close their bars at 10 p.m. as well.
“I don’t know if anybody has the right formula and I don’t know what the formula is but if I knew exactly that’s what we would do,” Ehlmann said.
There are some positives according to Ehlmann, like fewer deaths.
“The first 90 days had 24 deaths per month in St. Charles County. Last month, we had 13,” he said. “Thirteen is too many. But again, 83 percent of those deaths were people 80 and over and in nursing homes.”
Ehlmann also said that the county’s contact tracing efforts remain a priority.