CLAYTON, Mo. – St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page is extending the stay-at-home-order indefinitely. The County Council will reassess the order on May 4. That date is the expiration of Missouri’s stay-at-home order.
Page says that they are working on a plan to safely reopen businesses in St. Louis County. It could take some time because of the amount of coronavirus cases in the region. A reopening of St. Louis County businesses would likely be gradual. This is to limit the amount of contact people are having with one another.
An announcement about reopening St. Louis County Parks is expected by the end of this week. They will remain closed for now. But, Page said that a gradual reopening of trails and other spaces may eventually happen.
Tuesday night St. Louis County Council approved $7 million to buy tests from the health fund. They are working to purchase more COVID-19 tests but the market for them is very competitive.
A federal $175 million grant is expected to come on Friday. It will serve a lifeline to communities. The St. Louis County Council is currently working on a bill to distribute the funds to help fight the spread of coronavirus. The money can only be used to respond to the impacts of coronavirus on communities. Page says that they understand the impact that the virus has had on African American communities and that will be part of their decision to apportion funds. A website is being built so the public can track where the funds are going.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force said on Tuesday that efforts to reopen the region too quickly could be catastrophic. During his daily briefing, St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Commander Dr. Alex Garza acknowledged the fear and frustration but cautioned against the inclination to move too fast.
“We are starting to plan and think about reopening”, said Dr. Garza. “A lot of people are working very hard on these issues of reopening. We must do this right. We don’t get a second chance to do this right.”
In his daily briefings, Dr. Garza has argued that as the region reaches its apex of COVID-19 cases and plateaus in the number of hospitalizations it sees, the planning to reopen our communities and economy must have a structured approach.