ST. LOUIS – Before she retires in April, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson faces what could be the most challenging time during her tenure – getting the city through what could be a dark winter of the COVID pandemic.
The virus is raging in our community. Lots of cases, sickness, hospitalizations, and even deaths. All things considered, the mayor says the city is holding its own.
“The people, residents, and businesses in the City of St. Louis are doing a great job over the last 9 months,” she said.
While Krewson wants her city’s COVID numbers lower, they are the best in the metropolitan area, comparatively speaking.
“We have about 45 cases per 1,000 people,” she said.
Restrictions are looser for businesses in the city compared to St. Louis County; bars and restaurants are open for inside service.
Krewson says city leaders are examining data every day to inform their decision making.
Some businesses have gone under due to COVID and many others are struggling. Like the hospitality industry, for instance. The city hasn’t had a convention since March and people are and will continue to feel the pain of COVID.
How can St. Louis get through what appears to be a long winter ahead?
“Mitigation. Wear a mask, social distance, keep your groups small,” she said.
The mayor understands that everyone is exhausted with COVID but says the vaccine will be in St. Louis next week. She calls that a light on the other side of the horizon. Health care workers and the most vulnerable will have access first.
“It’s going to take a while for someone not in these groups for it to be available,” Krewson said. “It may be by March, April, May; the spring timeframe.”
Krewson attributes the city’s high murder rate due to COVID but says we cannot lose hope.
The mayor credits the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force for strong leadership.
“Kudos to Dr. Garza who has been leading and Dr. Echols in the City of St. Louis,” she said. “These folks understand public health and what we need to do.”