On July 27, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page took the podium at the John C. Murphy Health Center in Berkeley to announce seven initiatives intended to slow the rate of the COVID-19 spread across St. Louis County. Specifically, the measures are targeted at reducing the number of people congregating in businesses and bars and promoting overall crowd control in the county.
According to Page, the recommendations come on the heels of a St. Louis County statistics released July 26 that show 523 new cases of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 and rising hospitalizations. Daily statistics are posted on the county’s COVID-19 resource website, stlcorona.com.
Page called attention to increasing infection rates in individuals ages 10-19 and 20-29. He expressed concern regarding recent reports of bars and night clubs in St. Louis City and County where social distancing and mask-wearing initiatives were not being followed. He also addressed the concerns of parents who are wondering what to do when it comes to sending their children back to school. As he has done in the past, Page urged parents to consider going virtual if at all possible.
Specifically, Page announced the following initiatives:
- Gatherings of no more than 50 people will be permitted. Any group that had its plan for an event pre-approved will be contacted by the Department of Public Health to discuss their specific circumstances.
- Occupancy rules for all businesses will revert to 25% occupancy.
- All bars will close at 10 p.m., nightly.
- The Department of Public Health will find new ways to make sure all businesses are following the rules to ensure the safety of their workers, workers’ families and customers.
- It is recommended that people awaiting COVID test results quarantine until they receive those results. This also includes asymptomatic patients.
- Actions will be taken in the coming days to ensure that all health providers report results back to individuals in a timely manner.
- The Director of Human Services will assist in the creation of safe places in which teachers can quarantine if needed.
These measures will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31. The one exception is the initiative regarding individual quarantine.
“We’d ask people to quarantine now if they’re expecting results,” Page said.