A year to the day of the announcement of Missouri’s first confirmed COVID-19 case, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page relaxed a series of COVID-19 restrictions. The changes include extending closing time of bars and restaurants to midnight.
“Today there’s hope,” Page said this morning during a news conference streamed on Facebook Live. “After seeing 800 new cases per day in November, we are now averaging 125 new cases a day. A year ago, a vaccine was not available, and today there are three FDA-approved makers of this life-saving shot, and President Biden said that the distribution was robust enough now that every adult who wants to be vaccinated should be by the end of May.”
Page outlined five changes to the county’s COVID-19 public health protocols: All business can remain open until midnight (previous curfew was 11 p.m.). Private gatherings are limited to 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors (previous limit was ten people). Indoor banquet facilities and conference centers can operate at 25 percent capacity given they follow the same health and safety protocols as restaurants (previous limit was 50 people). Outdoor events and facilities can operate at 50 percent capacity with social distancing and approval from the health department for events larger than 500. Sporting venues can submit plans to the department of public health (previous limit was two spectators per player).
Despite the changes, restaurant and bar capacity remains at 50 percent. Entertainment venues such as casinos, theme parks and museums must continue to submit plans to the public health department for approval.
“The cautious opening of St. Louis County has been possible because so many of our residents have worn masks, limited gatherings, and stayed home as much as possible and respected the space of others," Page said. ... "As I said a year ago, as one community we will find hope. As one community, we will overcome this challenge."