New COVID restrictions begin for St. Louis County businesses


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – As of 5 p.m. Friday, July 31, businesses in St. Louis County are under new restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Under the new restrictions, bars must close early and dining rooms will have new limits on capacity.

“America had hoped to not being rolling back on public health orders but the virus had other ideas,” said St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page. “Some sort of steps and out public health order will be necessary until masking and social distancing guidelines are widely followed in our community.”

Businesses had been operating at 50 percent capacity since late June. However, that’s being rolled back to 25 percent capacity.

Restaurants have marked tables that are unavailable so they can achieve social distancing and still have dine-in service. County officials said they’re seeing an increase in COVID cases among young people who gather at bars not wearing masks and not practicing social distancing. As a result, bars are now ordered to close at 10 p.m.

“We ended up initially opening up with about 50 percent revenue when the dining room was closed and right now we’re doing about 75 percent of normal business,” said Marty Ronzio, owner of Rich and Charlie’s restaurant on Lemay Ferry Road.

Restaurants are losing revenue but owners are adjusting.

“They had to do something. There were too many people getting sick, too many people dying; so, it makes sense,” said Marvin Kauten, a patron at Rich and Charlie’s

Page said there’s a new process in place to temporarily shut down businesses that don’t comply with the rules.

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