Severe St. Louis budget cuts expected if there is no second round of federal stimulus

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Kansas City and St. Louis areas have much higher rates of coronavirus infections than rural areas. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a Facebook Live broadcast that the area hit the peak number of cases about a week ago. The number of new cases has stabilized.

Krewson says that the economy is not the only reason they are reopening. They made the decision because the number of cases appears to be trending down.

There are 13,000 coronavirus tests that have just come in for the city of St. Louis. That was from an order of 20,000 tests. The mayor says that the city has ordered 200,000 tests.

May 18 is the date set for a soft reopening of St. Louis City and County. They expect an increase in the number of cases as testing expands and social distancing is eased.

Bars and restaurants should expect to be open on May 18th. Hairstylists, nail salons, and tattoo parlors may not be allowed to be open during the first phase. Mayor Krewson advises visiting the CDC’s website to determine what they should do to reopen. The city will be using the CDC’s guidelines to help reopen businesses.

“For those of you who can work from home, you should continue to work from home,” said Mayor Krewson. “The virus was around 12 days ago and it will still be here 12 days from now.”

People serving the public should wear masks while at work. The mayor also advises that customers also wear masks.

Mayor Krewson says that they are working with large venues like the Art Museum and the Zoo to reopen. The reopenings will happen when they determine it is safe to do so.

The city of St. Louis has received $35 million from the federal government to help with the expense of fighting the coronavirus. It cannot be used to help with city expenses. St. Louis expects an $85-$126 million budget shortfall. They hope a second federal stimulus plan will help with lost revenue. Otherwise, there will likely be severe cuts to personnel and services.

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