As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, County Executive Dr. Sam Page released new “Safer At Home” guidelines for St. Louis County on Friday, November 13. The new restrictions are looser than the stay at home order in the spring, but are designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The “Safer At Home” restrictions will start on Tuesday, November 17:
Restaurants and bars will no longer be able to serve customers indoors, but will still be able to operate outdoor dining and drive-thrus.
Businesses’ capacity will be reduced to 25% occupancy, from the current 50%.
Masks will be required when leaving home for everyone over five years old.
People working out in gyms will be required to wear a mask, even when working out.
Gatherings will be limited to no more than ten people.
People are asked to create social bubbles with no more than ten family members or friends, and limit all interactions to them.
Schools can remain open, and school sports can continue to play with the current guidelines.
“This won’t be easy, and this won’t be fun,” Dr. Page stated in Friday’s press conference. “We know the holidays are quickly approaching and we all want to spend time with our families, however, we strongly discourage large traditional family gatherings.”
Dr. Page also reminded citizens to support their local businesses. “Our restaurants and bars are struggling, so please support them. Please tip them generously. They have bills to pay as well.”
According to the Missouri Department of Health, Missouri is reporting a seven-day rolling average of 25,551 cases, with a positivity rate of 44%. St. Louis County is leading the state with a seven-day rolling average of 3,719 cases.
Dr. Alex Garza, head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, stated in Monday’s briefing that the seven-day rolling average for COVID-19 hospital admissions in the St. Louis area is the highest it has ever been, at 120 admissions. Hospitalizations in the region have also reached the highest they have ever been, at 809.
“The choices and changes we make today and this week will determine where we are in the coming weeks and months,” Dr. Garza stated. “We need you to take every step possible to turn this around. That includes getting a flu shot, wearing masks, socially distancing, and staying away of gatherings of multiple people. And please, please, make a plan for Thanksgiving that will keep the people you love out of the hospital.”