Earlier today in the St. Louis metropolitan area both St. Louis County Executive, Dr. Sam Page and the City of St. Louis Mayor, Lyda Krewson responded to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page today announced seven steps intended to address an increase in positive COVID-19 results in St. Louis County.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Page referred to April when the Stay-at-Home order was issued remarking at the time the number of COVID cases were doubling every 2-1/2 days. Though the positive case rate in St. Louis County has not yet reached that point, he stated that St. Louis County has reached the threshold of 40 admissions in a 7-day moving average of new COVID hospital admissions. This was the threshold resulting in tightening restrictions again.
In his presentation, Page cited yesterday there were 523 new positive cases. He stated hospital admissions are “higher than we’d hoped they’d be at this point”, that the rate of increase for 10-19 year old individuals is “more than anywhere” and that we are seeing “more cases than ever” in the 20-29 year old group. No specific statistics were provided for these statements.
Page stated that because St. Louis County has a team of over 300 contact tracers and because hundreds of business have voluntarily temporarily closed their doors, he doesn’t feel that St. Louis County must return to the stringent orders of this spring. In fact, gyms in St. Louis County have worked extremely hard to address sanitizing and cleaning processes and that the increase in outbreaks does not seem to be linked to gym usage.
The 7 initiatives announced today will become effective at 5 PM on Friday, July 31st. These initiatives are as follows:
- Large gatherings will be held to a maximum of 50 people.
- Maximum occupancy for businesses will be rolled back to 25%.
- The Dept. of Public Health will mandate that all bars close by 10 PM (Page stated that social distancing and mask wearing recommendations are currently not being adhered to in the late night/early morning hours).
- The Dept. of Public Health will institute a new graduated process for closing businesses that don’t follow the rules.
- All people waiting on COVID test results are recommended to quarantine until they get their results.
- Health providers must report test results more quickly (Page added that urgent care centers have been the most problematic, with results sometimes taking 7 days or longer).
- The Director of Human Services will work toward providing safe places for teachers to quarantine.
Since these 7 steps don’t take effect until Friday, July 31, Page stated that he doesn’t anticipate any bending of the curve for 3 weeks from today (allowing for the 14-day period post-effective date). At that point, he stated that believes there should be some improvement in the numbers.
St. Louis Co. Executive Page concluding by stating that everyone should wear masks everywhere and all the time and follow social distancing guidelines while in St. Louis County.
To view a video of today’s announcement, click here.