Metro St. Louis Counties Set New 50-Person Cap on Events, Effective Immediately

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click to enlarge No more events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks in the St. Louis area. - JAIME LEES
No more events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks in the St. Louis area.

The elected leaders of five St. Louis region counties are implementing a new ban on gatherings of 50 people or more in hopes of slowing the coronavirus pandemic.

The new restriction was announced Sunday and affects the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County in Missouri and St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois, according to a joint news release. The ban will last for eight weeks.

The Bi-State leaders — St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern and Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler — are also recommending that schools close by Wednesday until further notice. They would re-evaluate school status by April 3. (Update: 26 school districts in St. Louis city and county are closing.)

Illinois announced today that all bars and restaurants must close for two weeks, starting on March 16, although they can still offer delivery and curbside pickup. Missouri is weighing a similar move, but hadn't issued any orders as of Sunday evening.

The decision to limit gatherings to 50 is in line with advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The elected officials made the announcement after meeting on Sunday with fifteen health care professionals and other regional stakeholders, according the news release.

So far, there have been five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Missouri, including two in St. Louis County. There were two new cases announced on Saturday in St. Clair County — two women who health officials believe contracted the virus while traveling.

For more information on COVID-19, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website, and for more on the local response, go to websites for the city's health department and St. Louis County's health department.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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