CLAYTON, Mo. – St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page has announced more details about the plan to reopen businesses. The county will begin the first phase of reopening on May 18. Page says that businesses should deny service to anyone not wearing a mask.
All places that provide goods, services, or religious services will be allowed to reopen. Businesses that have direct interaction with the public will be limited to 25 percent occupancy. Physical barriers will need to be placed anywhere where social distancing is not possible. Options for touchless payment or service should be provided. Businesses should not let customers bring in outside containers. Full guidance from St. Louis County will be posted here when it is released.
Bars who do not serve meals will continue to be limited to carryout and curbside service. Restaurants will be allowed to reopen, with restrictions.
Nail salons and hairstylists will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity with employees wearing masks.
Not all businesses will be allowed to reopen. St. Louis County is currently reviewing high-risk businesses. They say that several categories will remain closed including concerts, entertainment, sports venues, sports events, pools, playgrounds, gyms, banquet rooms, and conference centers.
Page says that for businesses to reopen and remain open, they must follow some new standards. They must disinfect high-touch areas frequently. Provide breaks for employees to wash their hands. Train employees on social distancing guidelines. Require employees to wear masks and provide them with the masks or materials to make them. Signs will also need to be placed to remind customers of social distancing.
Wearing a mask in public is strongly encouraged and gatherings will be limited to ten people or less.
Some summer camps may eventually be allowed to happen. But that activity is still under review.
Hospitals are coming up with a plan to bring back elective procedures. They will also need to work with new social distancing guidelines. Page says that the hospitals will determine their path forward. A lot of that depends on capacity.
Dr. Page says that a very specific plan will be released on reopening daycare facilities. That may be released next week. He says that the procedures for reopening daycares are already published.
Many of the counties that border St. Louis County have reopened. They are watching the data to see what is happening on those borders with the spread of coronavirus. Page says that he and Mayor Lyda Krewson are working closely to coordinate their response to the disease.
Page says it will be a while before we go back to normal. Producing a vaccine can take a long time. There are a lot of people working to speed up the process. St. Louis County is asking people in high-risk categories to continue to stay home.