COVID-19 Information & Updates
Below are some of the key highlights from all St. Louis County COVID-19 Updates. Please refer to the Updates on the right-hand side for more information.
August 7, 2020
CARES Act Funding
St. Louis County has awarded $1.5 million in CARES Act funding to the nonprofit CaresSTL for expanded free testing for COVID-19. CareSTL, a federally qualified health center, will test at least 700 county residents per month through the rest of the year at multiple locations, most of them in north county.
“First and foremost I would like to thank St. Louis County for trusting CareSTL Health with the care of their community. We understand the importance of Covid testing. We’re excited that as an agency we can help by providing the test and processing the test results because we have our own CLIA lab to do so,” says Angela Clabon, CareSTL CEO. “The community residents deserves the right to be tested and we’re proud to be a partner.”
This follows our previous announcement that we had awarded People’s Health Centers $578,000 for testing in north St. Louis County. Funding for both testing programs comes from the $4 million in CARES funding that was reserved for testing in historically under-served communities.
Testing is a crucial part of our plan to stop the spread of COVID-19 because it allows us to isolate people who are positive for the virus and to conduct contract tracing to identify others who may have been exposed. For more information, visit www.careSTLhealth.org.
August 3, 2020
Voting During COVID-19
In advance of Tuesday’s election in St. Louis County, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health has partnered with the St. Louis County Board of Elections to improve safety for voters and poll workers.
DPH has provided 50,000 masks, 50,000 bottles of water, 2,000 floor stickers for social distancing and enough alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer and signs for all 200 polling places. DPH experts also have consulted with the St. Louis County Board of Elections on its plans for voter safety. Please remember the following:
- Masks are required in all polling places. Bring your own mask if you can, but if you don’t have one, a free mask will be provided by poll workers.
- Observe social distancing and please stay six feet apart while waiting to vote. Water should be available if you have to stand in line outdoors.
- Any St. Louis County voter can vote in any county polling place, thanks to the Board of Election’s technology. If your assigned polling place is crowded, you may cast your ballot at any other polling location. A complete list of polling places can be found here, or by visiting the St. Louis County Board of Elections website.
July 29, 2020
Paused Re-Opening Order
As noted by Dr. Page on Monday, there are pauses in the reopening order that has previously been in-effect. The latest order is dated July 29 and effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31 will be posted in its entirety on stlcorona.com later today. The following guidance is listed in the order:
- The Order rescinds the Second Amended Re-Opening Order, but maintains all the Guidelines that were promulgated under that Order.
- All Businesses that are subject to capacity limitations are reduced from 50%-25% capacity. This is based on the authorized fire or building code occupancy and includes employees, staff and customers. For example, if a banquet facility's occupancy limit is 100 people, and 25% of that means under this order only 25 people can be present, then they cannot try to claim the gathering limitation allows them to increase the number to 50 people.
- Businesses subject to capacity limitations include grocery stores and retail stores, personal services (hair, nail, etc), churches, funeral services, banquet and conference facilities. A good way describe when capacity limitations apply is when a business offers a service or goods for sale that requires interaction with the public.
- Gathering Limitations are included in this Order. No gatherings of over 50 people are allowed. The gathering limitation does NOT apply to:
a. Businesses that are subject to capacity limitations of 25%
b. Professional Businesses - think offices, legal, accounting, etc.
c. public transit, including airports
e. schools (they have their own plans)
g. daycare and camps
h. polling places
If a business is subject to capacity limitations or the business is already subject to other guidelines (like public transit, daycare, etc.) then it is not subject to gathering limitations.
- Certain Businesses and planned activities, due to the uniqueness of the businesses, must submit a proposed plan to DPH for approval. If a proposed plan is submitted and approved, the business or activity can proceed. DPH will require the business or activity to comply with capacity restrictions, social distancing requirements and other restrictions to keep people safe. Even if approved, DPH has the authority to withdraw approval or change the plans. These businesses and activities subject to this planning process are:
a. entertainment and attraction venues (6 flags, the Butterfly House, the Magic House, etc)
b. Concert venues
c. Mass Sporting events
July 28, 2020
St. Louis County COVID-19 Update
St. Louis County’s COVID-19 website, stlcorona.com, lists the number of new cases reported each day. Unfortunately, today’s reported figure of 88 new cases reflects incomplete data. The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has identified errors in timeliness and accuracy of the data it received from private urgent care companies that administer tests in the county. As an example, one urgent care company recently reported 17,700 test results in two batches over a three-day period, raising concerns about possible duplications and other problems with the data. DPH is reviewing those test results and will post them after it confirms the accuracy of the data reported. Until then, DPH will not include that data in reports.
The department will update the data on stlcorona.com as soon as it has confirmed the accuracy of the data and correcting errors. We will continue to use seven-day averages for monitoring trends.
July 27, 2020
Additional COVID-19 Implementations
As announced by Dr. Page this morning the following seven initiatives will take effect at 5:00 pm, Friday, July 31.
- Only gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted. Amy group that had its plan for an event pre-approved should expect to be contacted by the Department of Public Health to discuss their specific circumstances.
- Occupancy rules for all businesses will revert to where they were in June at 25% occupancy.
- The Department of Public Health is ordering that all bars close at 10 P.M. every night. The late night and early morning hours are times when social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding crowds are simply not being followed.
- The Department of Public Health will be finding new ways to make sure all businesses are following the rules — for the safety of their workers, workers’ families, and their customers.
- It is also recommended that all people who are awaiting their COVID test results quarantine until they receive the results. Right now, not all asymptomatic patients have been quarantining, but we now strongly recommend that they do so. It is recommended that employers work with employees to make quarantining possible.
- Action will also be taken this week to ensure that all health providers are getting their results reported in a timely manner. Due to delays, the Department of Public Health issued a Rapid Notification Order. But not all testing providers are complying, especially urgent care providers.
- The Director of Human Services has been asked to help provide a safe places for teachers who need to quarantine. Teachers, virtual or in-classroom, are always important, but in a few weeks, teachers will be the new front-line workers.
Additional details regarding these implementations will be available soon.
July 23, 2020
The St. Louis County Department of Pubic Health, the St. Louis Sports Medicine COVID-10 Task Force and the City of St. Louis have issued this joint statement on youth sports:
The St. Louis Metropolitan Area is in the middle of a dramatic increase of COVID-19 cases and there is widespread transmission of the virus occurring in the community, particularly in the younger population. This unfortunately increases the risk of spread to everyone, particularly when people gather in groups. Furthermore, children will further suffer as this increase in activity threatens the ability of children to return safely to school and to sports this fall.
While the risk of transmission during competitive youth sports games is most likely low, all of the activities surrounding the games increase the likelihood of spreading the virus. This includes teams, coaches and parents gathering before, during and after games and practices, carpooling and other activities associated with participating in sports teams, especially if proper mitigation practices are not in place
For these reasons, the St. Louis Sports Medicine COVID-19 Task Force, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and the City of St. Louis Department of Health all agree that for now, competitive activities like games and scrimmages should be paused.
Although there have been COVID-19 cases associated with sports participation, it is the significant amount of virus circulating within the community that is the primary reason for having to roll back youth sports activities because they can create conditions for continued spread. The same conditions exist for any activity where person-to-person interaction is high, where groups of people get together for proms, graduation ceremonies or in bars, or where mitigation practices are low.
We all agree that participation in sports benefits young people physically, mentally and emotionally. Unfortunately, because of the significant spread of the virus within the community, these actions, as well as others, are needed until our communities are safe again.
Regardless of these constraints, the new recommendations still allow for physical activity -- such as sports skills and conditioning, both of which will allow our athletes to continue to develop as young athletes -- but in a much more controlled environment. Both the Department of Public Health’s guidelines and the task force’s recommendations contain these measures.
Everyone in the community can help bring competitive youth sports back by consistently wearing masks in public, social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, emphasizing the importance of disclosing exposures with parents and athletes, avoiding congregating in crowds, including informal gatherings, and avoiding traveling with teams to other areas that aren’t practicing similar measures to control the virus. These measures will help decrease the virus in the community and allow all of us to get back to doing the things we love, such as youth sports.
July 22, 2020
CARES Healthcare Applications Now Open
As previously noted, St. Louis County had asked for community input on how to directly spend $7 million of CARES funding for healthcare. Members of the community responded and ultimately decided that specific healthcare services were needed in the county’s most vulnerable areas, most of them in North County.
St. Louis County Department of Public Health is seeking bids to provide the following services to the community.
- COVID-19 Testing. Funding to increase access to testing including mobile testing in high traffic places (e.g. grocery stores, churches, schools in high burden neighborhoods) and testing for homebound seniors and individuals with disabilities.
- Funding amount: $1.5 million
- Healthcare Services or Programs. Funding to provide primary and preventative care including wellness visits, immunizations, and screenings; Dental care including preventative, diagnostic, and restorative care. Optometry care including routine eye exams, screenings, fitting and prescribing optical aids such as glasses and contact lenses.
- Funding amount: $2 million
- PPE and Supplies. Funding to provide personal protective equipment and supplies including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and home cleaning supplies.
- Funding amount: $500,000
- Mental Health and Behavioral Health Programs or Services. Funding to provide substance use disorder and/or mental health treatment assistance including but not limited to therapy for stress, depression, anxiety and or trauma in person or via tele-health. Psychiatric services may include diagnosis of mental health conditions, medication therapy and medication monitoring (in-person and/or tele-health).
- Funding amount: $2 million
- Utilization of a Healthcare Emergency Fund. Funding to provide for miscellaneous emergency healthcare needs such as health insurance coverage, coverage of co-pays, medical expenses, costs of prescriptions, or technology to facilitate tele-health participation.
- Funding amount: $1 million
Funding to Focus on Additional COVID-19 Testing
St. Louis County also announced an additional infusion of $2.5 million in CARES Act funding to support diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Community Health Centers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, that have existing COVID-19 testing infrastructure will be eligible to apply for this funding to cover testing costs conducted for St. Louis County residents.
This funding is in addition to free testing available by appointment, for all County residents at the Department of Public Health. Upcoming funding opportunities for innovative testing projects such as mobile testing soon to be available through the participatory budgeting process and more detailed information about the application will be disseminated.
July 17, 2020
Youth Sports Guidelines
Due to a rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases involving young people in St. Louis County, the Department of Public Health has issued more specific guidelines effective Monday, July 20. Those guidelines, which can be found online here, include the following:
- Youth teams will only be allowed to practice. No competitive play between teams or within teams will be allowed.
- No more than 10 individuals, including coaches, are to participate in athletic activities in a single space, and all participants must remain at least six feet apart.
- No spectators will be allowed during any team or practice session.
In total, 700 youths who have contracted COVID-19 in St. Louis County, and that number rises every day. As the investigations continue, there is data that reflects numerous positive cases stem from attending sporting events, participating in practices, or participating in social activities. Here are a few examples:
- Two local high schools recently reported cases involving student athletes. One of which, resulted in placing 15 student athletes in quarantine while awaiting test results after one athlete tested positive for COVID-19.
- Multiple St. Louis County youths and family members have tested positive after attending an athletic tournament outside of St. Louis County, including a 9-year-old athlete.
- An alumnus of a local high school tested positive after attending basketball practice with current students. Now, 16 people who had contact with the person are in quarantine.
St. Louis County appreciates the full participation of the St. Louis Sports Medicine Task Force chaired by Dr. Jason Newland, which helped us write and revise the order and which not only endorsed it, but issued a separate order recommending the same steps. Any coach or school that learns that a student athlete has tested positive for COVID-19 must report it to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. and the full order can be found online here.
July 8, 2020
Summer Utility assistance through the Missouri Department of Social Services -Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
In Ameren’s continued effort to ensure awareness of all available utility resources, Ameren is assisting in sharing information regarding the Missouri Department of Social Services -Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Summer funds. Please note that qualified families can receive up to $600 to avoid disconnection. For your convenience, please see the attached the Summer LIHEAP flyer. Feel free to share within your networks.
Also, keep in mind the Ameren Missouri COVID-19 Clean Slate program, which is a program designed to help Ameren Missouri’s most vulnerable, income-eligible customers pay off their past-due utility bills. The program clears the remaining balance on their account after paying 25% of the current balance. Information about the COVID-19 Clean Slate program can be found at AmerenMissouri.com/CleanSlate. Another great partner, Cooldown Missouri has funds available for the elderly, physically disabled, and low-to-moderate income families.
June 26, 2020
New COVID-19 Symptoms Identified
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness and three additional symptoms have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those symptoms updated on June 25, include:
- Runny Nose or Congestion
- Nausea or vomiting
These symptoms are in addition to the previous symptoms, which are listed below.
- Fever of Chills
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore Throat
June 22, 2020
Youth Sports Guidelines
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has updated the Youth Sports Guidelines. Playing sports with or against other individuals during this time holds an inherent risk that someone may become infected and, in turn, spread the virus to others in their household or community. Please consider this risk when allowing your child to participate in organized sports.
The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in youth sports settings as follows:
- Lowest risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family members
- Increasing risk: Team-based practice
- More risk: Within-team competition
- Even more risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area
- Highest risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.
Tournaments are in the CDC’s highest risk category and cannot be played at this time. Traveling outside of the local community may increase the chances of exposing players, coaches, and spectators to COVID-19. Youth sports teams must compete only against teams in the St. Louis area. Click here to download or view the complete guideline document.
June 18, 2020
Long-Term Care Facilities Guidelines
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has updated the guidelines for Long-Term Care Facilities. The document, found here, provides guidelines for the Residential Living facilities that serve this vulnerable population. Guidelines for the management of patients and health care workers are also highlighted. It is critical to minimize any exposure to these vulnerable populations and imperative that the health care professionals who assist and treat this population are adequately screened before entering these facilities. Facilities employing these professionals as well as the professionals, themselves, must comply with these guidelines.
June 17, 2020
COVID-19 Test Scheduler Available Online
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health is continuing to experience high call volume following the announcement last week of the expansion of testing for COVID-19. Therefore, DPH has developed a sign-up tool for St. Louis County residents to schedule their own appointments for testing.
This is for St. Louis County residents only; it’s important to remember that even if you don’t think you’re at risk, you should still consider getting tested to protect others. The goal is to detect cases among people who are likely to spread the infection. These individuals include those who work directly with the public, such as medical and residential facility workers, grocery store employees, food service employees and other front-line workers. Early detection in those without symptoms will allow us to take steps to reduce further the likelihood of transmission.
Testing is available by appointment only. Scheduling is available online here.
June 15, 2020
Additional Businesses Reopening Today
As announced by Dr. Page this morning, additional businesses in St. Louis County have reopened today, including fitness centers, pools, casinos, and banquet halls at 25% capacity. All businesses that open must abide by the restrictions and guidelines set out by the St. Louis County Health Department. Those guidelines can be found and downloaded here.
Gatherings of any kind are still considered a significant risk. As we move forward, social distancing and masks are critical steps to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Those personal protective measures can be also found here.
June 12, 2020
Additional Reopening Dates
As announced by Dr. Page this morning, on Monday, June 15, more of St. Louis County will open – this includes fitness centers, pools, casinos, and banquet halls at 25% capacity. All businesses that open must abide by the restrictions and guides set out by the St. Louis County Health Department as outlined here.
Gatherings of any kind are still considered a significant risk. As we move forward, social distancing and masks are critical steps to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
On Monday, June 29, St. Louis County will increase capacity restrictions up to 50%. Capacity increase will apply to all businesses regardless of industry on June 29. This includes funerals, weddings, and anniversary parties, as well as gatherings that have been limited to fewer than 10 people. That restriction will also be lifted and set to the maximum size dedicated by the 50% capacity set by fire code and DPH guidelines.
Outside events will not have a crowd restriction, but anyone in attendance should still practice social distancing and wear masks. All orders and guides will be updated throughout the week and posted here. Some parks are setting individual restrictions for pavilion capacity. Please make sure to check with the venue prior.
June 11, 2020
Reopening Guidelines for Banquet and Conference Centers Now Available
The reopening guidelines for banquet and conference centers are now available online, are effective on June 15, 2020 in St. Louis County and can be found here. These guidelines place restrictions on banquet centers, conference venues, and any similar venue where members of the public gather for meetings or events. Effective June
June 10, 2020
Community Centers and Recreation Centers Guidelines Now Available
Community Center and Recreation Center Guidelines are now available online and can be found here. These guidelines apply to community centers and recreation centers as well as similar occupations and businesses which engage in direct interactions with members of the public. Adherence to these guidelines are for not only the protection of customers in these entertainment venues settings, but also for the protection of employers and employees and effective June 15, 2020.
June 9, 2020
Entertainment Venues - Movie Theaters, Arcades and Bowling Alleys Guidelines
New guidelines for entertainment venues take effect June 15. Adherence to these guidelines protect customers as well as employers and employees. The requirements that together prevent the spread of infections by respiratory transmission (including COVID-19) include:
- Social Distancing – maintaining at least 6 feet between and among employees and customers.
- Monitoring of Employee Health – ensuring that your employees are in good health and displaying no symptoms while at work.
- Using personal protective equipment (PPE) – a face cover must be worn by employees and customers.
- Disinfecting and cleaning – wash and sanitize hand regularly and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces with an EPA-approved disinfectant
These guidelines can be found online here.
June 8, 2020
Behavioral Health Resource
This morning, County Executive Sam Page announced the enhancement of Behavioral Health access by calling 211. During these difficult times, many people are experiencing unfamiliar emotions and navigating through unexpected circumstances. Resources are available to address multiple needs such as housing, utilities, food and mental health. Additional information is also available online here.
Outdoor Drive-In Entertainment Guidelines
The Outdoor Drive-In Entertainment Guidelines are now available online and can be found here. Establishments that wish to have outdoor entertainment with drive-in customer viewing, may do so under these guidelines. Following these guidelines will reduce the risk of spreading the virus among employees and guests. The core set of principles to prevent the spread of infections by respiratory transmission (including COVID-19) include:
- Practice social distancing –maintain 6 feet between and among employees and guests at all times.
- Monitor employee health – check the status of your employee’s health and screen employees for COVID-19.
- Use protective equipment – a fabric or disposable face covering must be worn by employees and guests, except when guests are in their vehicles.
- Clean/sanitize/disinfect – wash and sanitize hands, and wipe down frequently touched surfaces with EPA-registered disinfectant.
June 2, 2020
Additional Guidelines Now Available
The reopening guidelines for the businesses listed below are now available online.
- Gyms and Fitness Centers
- Food Establishments and Bars
- Businesses Restricted by Capacity Limitations
- Youth Sports
- Adult Sports
Additional guidelines for other businesses will be available in the near future, including updates to existing guidance already posted.
June 1, 2020
St. Louis County Reopening Timeline
As announced by County Executive Sam Page this morning, Bars are permitted to reopen on June 8. Additional guidance and safety protocols will be available online today and posted on social media. The reopening of gyms, pools and other sports has been set for June 15th, with additional guidance available in the near future. All reopening guideline, when available, can be found here.
May 28, 2020
Metro Transit COVID-19 Update
Metro Transit will resume front-door boarding and fare collection on MetroBus vehicles beginning on Monday, June 1, with temporary changes to fares and fare collection.
MetroBus cash fares have been waived since March 21 to reduce the person-to-person contact between bus operators and passengers, and riders have been boarding buses via the rear doors. Metro has continued to implement precautionary safety measures including providing all transit operators with masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment, limiting passenger loads on buses, installing polycarbonate shields around the operator cabs on all buses, requiring all passengers to wear face covering masks on transit vehicles, and adjusting MetroBus service to better meet ridership demands and support social distancing.
With all these measures now in place, Metro is in position to safely resume fare collection while continuing to address the health and safety of drivers and passengers. More information about the fare changes can be found online here.
May 22nd, 2020
Guidance for Summer Camps
Earlier today, it was announced by St. Louis County and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, that additional guidance for the reopening of summer camps is now available.
The guidance outline includes the following:
- Logistics for social distancing and hygiene
- Food Service
- Control of Environmental Contamination of camp site and staff/children’s homes
- Use of Playground Equipment
This guidance document is attached and can be found here.
May 15th, 2020
St. Louis County Department of Health Hotline Hours
Beginning Monday, May 18th, St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) hotline hours will be slightly modified in response to the current call data. However, if DPH determines there is a need to revisit the expanded hours, that need will be met.
The Missouri State hotline, operated by the Missouri Division of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), will continue to operate and be staffed 24/7. Any Additional COVID-19 questions or and which can be reached at 877-435-8411.
May 14, 2020
Food Resources Available
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page announced yesterday that $2.6 million from the CARES Act grant was awarded to five community partners working to connect food with families struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. Below is a list of resources and contact information for those in need. Please do not hesitate to reach out or contact for questions. The County’s partner agencies report that up to 75 percent of people seeking assistance from a food pantry are doing so for the first time.
- Operation Food Search https://www.operationfoodsearch.org/
- St. Louis Area Food Bank https://stlfoodbank.org/
- Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis https://www.ulstl.com/
- Link Market https://linkmarket.org/
- Potbangerz https://www.potbangerz.org/
May 13, 2020
Business Specific Guidance Available
Together, in coordination with the City of St. Louis and the Economic Development Partnership, business operating guidelines for the entire St. Louis Region have been released and posted online. The following protocols can be found at stlcorona.com.
- Commercial Office Building Operations
- Restaurant (with dine-in) Operations
- Transportation Services
- Business Office Operations
- Construction, Manufacturing and Repair Services
- Personal Services
- Retail Operations
Individual businesses can ask specific questions about how the guidance applies to their business by emailing email@example.com.
May 12, 2020
How to Wear, Properly Sanitize and Remove Cloth Face Coverings
As previously released, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission
Cloth face coverings should:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Cloth Masks should be washed and cleaned regularly, depending on frequency of use. A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering. It is important to maintain proper removal of masks, as individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing. Additional mask information can be found here.
May 8th, 2020
Guidance for Businesses
St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) and the St. Louis County Executive’s Office have announced guidance for businesses reopening. The document is attached here.
May 6th, 2020
Face Mask Requirement on Metro Transit
Starting on Monday, May 11, Metro Transit will take another important step to help protect transit riders and employees from the spread of COVID-19 by requiring all passengers to wear face masks at all times when riding on MetroBus, MetroLink or Metro Call-A-Ride vehicles. You will not be permitted to board a MetroBus vehicle, MetroLink train or Metro Call-A-Ride van if you are not wearing a face covering.
Face coverings need to fit over both the nose and mouth, and non-medical masks, scarves, handkerchiefs, bandanas and other types of cloth coverings are permitted. This measure does not apply to children ages 2 and under, or customers who have trouble breathing, are incapacitated or are unable to remove the cover without assistance. The requirement to wear face coverings on public transit follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and a requirement issued by the State of Illinois asking people to wear a face covering over their noses and mouths when in a public environment where social distancing is not always possible.
May 1st, 2020
The flow of information pertaining to COVID-19 has been significant and constantly evolving. A refresher on the best information available from time to time will continue to improve our understanding of the virus and contribute to minimizing its impact on our region. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently expanded the list of symptoms related to COVID-19. Symptoms may appear between two and fourteen days after the exposure to the virus and can range from mild to severe. They now include:
- Shortness of breath
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
Individuals should call 911 for any medical emergency including these possible life threatening symptoms:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Experiencing levels of confusion for the first time
- Bluish lips or face
Those experiencing non-life threatening symptoms, should contact their doctor. Most people can recover from COVID-19 at home without needing medical care. Working with a doctor to develop a solid healthcare plan is key to recovery. This plan should include isolation, or separating the sick individual from others in the household. Rest and hydration are other significant components to recovery.
April 29, 2020
St. Louis County Parks
Many St. Louis County Parks reopened yesterday, April 28th, with some limitations. These restrictions include keeping facilities like bathrooms, shelters, and skate parks closed. Also, many trails have also been designated as “one-way” trails.
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) reminds everyone that social distancing guidelines still remain in effect when enjoying county parks. Social distancing, or “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. Key components include keeping six feet of space between you and other people and not gathering in large groups.
The following St. Louis County Parks reopened with some limitations: Bee Tree, Bella Fontaine, Blake C. Snyder Memorial, Buder, Butler Lake, Castlepoint, Cliff Cave, Champ, Creve Coeur, Faust, Fort Belle Fontaine, George Winter, Grant’s Trail, Greensfelder, Jefferson Barracks, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Lemay, Lone Elk (drive-thru only), Love, Lower Meramec, McDonnell, Ohlendorf West, Queeny, Sherman Beach, Simpson, Sioux Passage, Spanish Lake, St. Vincent, Suson, Tilles, Unger, Veterans Memorial, and West Tyson.
The following St. Louis County Parks will continue to be temporarily closed: Antire, Bissell House, Black Forest, Bohrer, Bright, Classe, Ebsworth, Endicott, Hunter’s Ford, King, Kinloch, Larimore, Mackenzie, Mathilda-Welmering, Memorial, Ohlendorf, Robert Winter, Schaefer Bend, St. George, Sylvan Springs, and Widman.
All programs, activities, events and rentals (regardless of size) are canceled thru at least Friday, May 15.
April 27, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its list of symptoms for the Coronavirus, adding six new possible indicators of the virus. The CDC now recognizes the following as possible symptoms for COVID-19, that may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Previously, the public health institute associated the symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing with the disease, as those are still considered in the list of COVID-19 symptoms.
April 24, 2020
New Testing Location
St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) will begin providing limited COVID-19 testing to County residents with symptoms who meet testing criteria at the John C. Murphy clinic located in Berkley and the South County Health Center in Sunset Hills starting Monday.
DPH currently operates three public-facing clinics where primary care is provided to an average of 35,000 individuals a year, the majority of whom are uninsured. These clinics are located in Pine Lawn (4000 Jennings Station Road), Berkley (6121 North Hanley Road), and Sunset Hills (4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard).
Throughout the pandemic, DPH continues to provide vital primary and acute care at our North Central and South County locations. COVID-19 testing has been available to our existing patients as well as other high risk groups in the County.
The Berkeley and Sunset Hills locations will operate drive-through testing, and will be by appointment only. While DPH’s current testing capacity is limited, the goal is to expand testing in the community by utilizing additional funding as it becomes available. The screening and appointment making processes will begin on Monday, April 27th. If you would like to be screened for an appointment, visit stlcorona.com or call (314)615-0574 starting Monday. Screening criteria prioritizes individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 who have risk factors for poor outcomes or are at particular risk for spreading illness to others if infected.
April 20, 2020
Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Employees
To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that critical infrastructure employees may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. Guidance for critical infrastructure employers and employees is attached.
Additional guidance includes:
- Employers should increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
- Employers should work with facility maintenance staff to increase air exchanges in room.
- Employees should not share headsets or other objects that are near mouth or nose.
- Employees and employers should consider pilot testing the use of face masks to ensure they do not interfere with work assignments.
- Employees should physically distance when they take breaks together. Stagger breaks and don’t congregate in the break room, and don’t share food or utensils.
St. Louis County Department of Public Health is asking everyone to remain diligent in continuing to wear masks while in public. This simple act helps to keep essential employees, like health care workers, grocery workers, custodians, transportation professionals, and first responders, safe and healthy.
This can be accomplished by wearing cloth masks. This helps preserve the sought after N-95 masks for the healthcare workers and first responders who must work in direct contact with those confirmed to have COVID-19. The CDC notes that homemade masks are not considered PPE, as their capability to protect health care professionals is unknown, but this option is a better option than no option. The CDC has directions for making two types of cloth masks, one that does not require sewing and one that does. Both types can be made out of items found in your home. For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
Text Message Alerts
St. Louis County continues to leverage technology to inform and educate as many people as possible to limit the impact COVID-19 will have on our region. As a reminder, text message alerts are available. Messages are only disseminated during reasonable hours of the day and the content is focused on the most important topics and/or services.
To sign up for them, text: STLOUISCOALERT to 67283. To stop receiving alerts, text: STOP STLOUISCOALERT to 67283.
National Guard Assistance
The Missouri National Guard will be arriving in our area soon. Today, the St. Louis County Executive’s Office, in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH), the St. Louis County Police Department’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and local hospitals, requested the assistance of the National Guard in the COVID-19 response. The duties of the Guard will include support staffing at testing sites, medical buildings, and other facilities at this time. Their attention will be focused on securing and supporting. The Guard is not here for any enforcement action of the Stay at Home Orders.
The CDC recommends the use of cloth masks for those that are looking for alternative ways to protect themselves when going to areas that may prove difficult to practice social distancing, like the grocery store or pharmacy. The use of cloth masks is believed to slow the spread of the virus, while also preserving much needed N-95 masks for healthcare workers and first responders, who must work in direct contact with those confirmed to have COVID-19.
The CDC has directions for making two types of cloth masks, one that does not require sewing and one that does. Both types can be made out of items found in your home. For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
St. Louis County Parks are Closing
To slow the spread of COVID-19, St. Louis County parks will officially close tonight at 8 PM. They will remain closed through at least April 22nd, to remain consistent with the stay at home order.
This is a challenging time for everyone in our community. We continue to encourage our businesses to comply with the Stay at Home Order which went into effect on March 23, 2020. By complying with this order, we can minimize the spread of COVID-19, and therefore limit the economic impact this virus has on our community. Businesses not complying with the Essential Business portion of the Stay at Home Order can expect enforcement action to begin in the near future.
Examples of essential businesses are doctor’s offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, take-out restaurants, gas stations, plumbers and electricians, banks, and laundromats. A more comprehensive list is below.
Businesses that are not essential include, but are not limited to, dine-in restaurants, beauty salons, and gyms.
If businesses that are not essential are continuing their operations, please report these violations of the Executive Order. This can be done to the St. Louis County Counselor by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or online by visiting https://stlouisco.com/Your-Government/County-Executive/COVID-19/COVID-19-Reporting-Executive-Order-Violations.
The complete Stay at Home Order can be found at https://stlouisco.com/portals/8/docs/document%20library/CountyExecutive/Executive%20Orders/Stay%20at%20Home%20Order.pdf.
Essential Businesses include:
- Health care operations and essential infrastructure
- Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, and convenience stores. These include stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
- Food and beverage production, processing, and distribution, including farming, ranching, fishing, dairies, creameries, wineries, and breweries
- Manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services
- Organizations that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities to vulnerable individuals
- Gas stations and auto supply, auto repair, and bicycle repair facilities
- Banks, insurance providers, real estate firms, and related financial institutions
- Hardware stores
- Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, landscaping, private security, and others providing services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and operation of residences, essential activities, and essential businesses
- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes
- Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of 6 feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible
- Schools and other entities that typically provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only
- Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers
- Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for drive-thru, delivery, or carry out
- Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home, including telecom services
- Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, including tech support, signage, and storage
- Businesses that ship or deliver food or goods directly to residences
- Airlines, taxis, rail, and others providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes expressly authorized in the order
- Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children
- Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children
- Businesses that provide pet care, including animal shelters and boarding facilities
- Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist with legally mandated activities; or to exercise constitutional rights, including but not limited to obligations under any court rule or order and for activities of essential businesses
- Businesses that offer childcare services, but only to the extent that they provide services to people who are necessary employees of essential businesses and government functions, and provided that they take reasonable actions to comply with social distancing conditions
Severe Illness is Associated with Using Non-Pharmaceutical Chloroquine Phosphate to Prevent and Treat COVID-19
Chloroquine phosphate, when used without a prescription and supervision of a healthcare provider, can cause serious health consequences, including death.
Recommendations for the Public:
- · Do not ingest aquarium use products or any other chemicals that contain chloroquine phosphate. These chemicals are not intended for human consumption and can lead to serious health consequences, including death.
- · Medications like chloroquine, and the related compound hydroxychloroquine, should be used only under the supervision of a healthcare provider as prescribed medications. They should only be used according to the instructions provided.
- · Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any unexpected symptoms after taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine by contacting your healthcare provider or your poison center.
Criteria for Testing Include:
Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, cough, lower respiratory symptoms) AND
- Hospitalized/critically ill patients
- People living in congregate settings
- Those at high risk for poorer outcomes including those >60 and people with chronic medical conditions
- Close contact to those with known COVID-19 infection
- Healthcare workers
Testing is focused on those who are the most ill or most at risk in our community because they will benefit most from the testing.
If you are ill, whether you test positive or negative, your healthcare provider’s advice for managing your symptoms will be the same. Currently, anyone with a fever and cough should assume their illness could be COVID-19 and take steps to protect others in the community and household from the disease. If you are sick, you need to stay home and stay away from other people in your home. If you need to go into public to visit a healthcare provider, wear a mask and practice meticulous hand washing.
Close contact is defined as:
(A) being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case – or – (B) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on)
It is important to understand that everyone is at risk of contracting COVID-19. This pandemic will affect all people, regardless of age, sex, race, or health conditions. The CDC identified that “the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.”
According to the CDC, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness. However to date, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk
- Other high-risk conditions could include:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
- People of any age with severe obesity or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not /well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
St. Louis County to Enact Stay at Home Orders to Prevent Spread of COVID-19
County Executive Dr. Sam Page announced on March 21, 2020, that St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis will be adopting new restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the region. The new restrictions will take effect on Monday, March 23, 2020, at 12:01 AM and will end on April 22, 2020, at 11:59 PM. This will ensure that residents can meet their basic needs and essential services will still be provided. The new restrictions will require people to stay at home when possible. It is just as important to recognize what is not impacted by this as what is. This announcement will not affect the ability of residents to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, and take a walk in a public park.
The Stay at Home Orders were enacted to prevent the spread of this pandemic.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline can be reached at (877)435-8411.
St. Louis County has created a website dedicated to the dissemination of information relating to COVID-19, www.stlcorona.com. Please visit that website or those belonging to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for the most current and reputable information.
St. Louis County COVID-19 Updates
- August 12
- August 10
- August 7
- August 5
- August 3
- Joint Statement on Sports
- July 31
- July 29
- July 28
- July 27
- July 24
- July 22
- July 20
- July 17
- July 15
- July 13
- July 10
- July 8
- July 6
- July 1
- June 29
- June 26
- June 24
- June 23
- June 22
- June 18
- June 17
- June 16
- June 15
- June 12
- June 11
- June 10
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- June 8
- June 5
- June 4
- June 3
- June 2
- June 1
- May 29
- May 28
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- May 26
- May 22
- May 21
- May 20
- May 19
- May 18
- May 15
- May 14
- May 13
- May 12
- May 11
- May 8
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- May 5
- May 4
- May 1
- April 30
- April 29
- April 28
- April 27
- April 24
- April 23
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- April 19
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- April 12
- April 11
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- April 8
- April 7
- April 6
- April 5
- April 4
- April 3
- April 2
- April 1
- March 31
- March 30
- March 29
- March 28
- March 27
- March 26
- March 25
- March 24
- March 23
- March 22
- March 21
- March 20
- March 19
- March 18
- March 17
- March 16