ST. LOUIS — Some St. Louis venues have adjusted their COVID-19 protocols for New Year’s Eve celebrations amid a surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the region.
According to the St. Louis Pandemic Task Force, there were more than 400 new COVID cases in one day and 136 new hospitalizations.
“The numbers are looking very concerning,” said Dr. Alex Garza, chief of the St. Louis Pandemic Task Force. “We’re entering what could be the most difficult phase we have faced so this whole started.”
But venues are still pushing on.
“It really feels like one of the most important things we do for the community is to gather everyone together and reflect on the year,” said Erik Finley, the vice president and general manager of the St. Louis Orchestra and Symphony.
More than 3,000 guests are expected for two concerts Friday. They have eliminated their social distancing rules, but Finley is encouraging guests to mask up and show a vaccination card or negative COVID test (within 48 hours) at the door.
“We are still doing food and beverage service, but it stays in the foyer,” said Finely. ” So, that the auditorium is really a sacred space where everyone is masked.”
Over in Clayton, Avenue Restaurant decided to scrap their indoor dining plan, returning back to curbside pickup only.
“We’re going to make the same menu available for carryout with some nice packing. We’ll include some hors d’oeuvres. We’re even going to get some hats or noisemakers to put in the bag, so guests can have a nice little new years eve at home,” said Avenue restaurant co-owner Bryan Carr.
This comes after some staff tested positive for the virus.
“You respond and figure out a way to make it work,” said Carr.
And for some, they just hope to keep their plans as is.
Delmar Hall was forced to postpone their New Year’s Eve concert, but there is another one scheduled at The Pageant.
“We are waiting for updates from the artists and what they want to do, and we act accordingly,” said Patrick Hagin, the Pageant’s managing partner.
The venue continued their mask mandate in addition to rules that instruct concertgoers to bring their vaccination card or negative COVID test.
No matter how you plan to celebrate, here’s hoping 2022 looks brighter and healthier for us all.