St. Louis County Loosens Restrictions on Bars, Private Gatherings
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A year before Missouri’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was announced, St. Louis County executive Sam Page relaxed a number of COVID-19 restrictions. The changes include extending the closing time of bars and restaurants to midnight.
“There is hope today,” Page said this morning during a press conference streamed live on Facebook. “After seeing 800 new cases per day in November, the average is now 125 new cases per day. No vaccine was available a year ago, and today there are three FDA approved manufacturers of this life-saving shot. President Biden said the distribution is robust enough now that any adult who wants to be vaccinated should be at the end of May. “
The page described five changes to the county’s COVID-19 public health protocols: All stores can stay 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 because they follow the same health and safety protocols as restaurants (previous limit was 50 people). Outdoor events and facilities can be used to 50 percent, with social distancing and approval from the health department for events over 500. Sports venues can submit plans to the health department (previous limit was two spectators per player)
Despite the changes, the capacity of restaurants and bars will remain at 50 percent. Entertainment venues like casinos, theme parks, and museums will still need to submit plans to the health department for approval.
“St. Louis County’s cautious opening was possible because so many of our residents wore masks, had limited crowds, and stayed home as much as possible and respected others’ space,” said Page. … “As I said a year ago we will find hope as a community. As a community we will meet this challenge.”
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