The steps St. Louis is taking on the road to reopening

ST. LOUIS – People are coming back en masse to see St. Louis attractions and spend money downtown, according to Brian Hall of Explore St. Louis.

Hall Participated in COVID: The Next Steps; A show hosted by medical reporter Dan Gray that discussed efforts to reopen.

“The spring break really marked the beginning of the recovery from travel and tourism, especially in St. Louis,” Hall said.

He said the metro area was 82% full by the last week of March.

Hall joined St. Louis County Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan, Alex Garza from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, and Andrew Meyer from FEMA.

But how long does St. Louis have to wait to open fully? Khan says he would like to say that things will be in a better position in a month’s time, but that we need to vent on the caution side.

“I really can’t give you a timetable because the virus and the way the pandemic is developing is giving us an indication of what might be next,” Khan explained.

Khan and Dr. Alex Garza of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force agree that vaccination is key to reopening.

“The best way to get there is to increase vaccinations and follow health strategies. If we do, we’ll get there faster and have greater potential not to have to wear that mask,” Garza said.

And when it comes to herd immunity, Khan said the Khan said we shouldn’t focus on an arbitrary target. He says there are many vaccines out there and we need to focus on getting people vaccinated.

“Capable people who are able to get in a car and drive to a vaccination site are the population that worries me most as we see an increase in vaccine reluctance and reluctance to take this first step,” said Khan.

FEMA is in town to reach underserved areas. Andrew Meyer admitted FEMA missed its daily target of 3,000 but is celebrating vaccinating 17,000 people.

“We saw 56% of people from St. Louis City and Counties came to be more vulnerable to viruses and less access to health care providers,” Meyer said.

Bottom line, Khan says you have no excuse if you haven’t been vaccinated, try now.

“Don’t listen to the nonsense that is being spread on social media, arm yourself with facts,” said Khan.

And when it comes to getting a booster shot, health officials say this is coming, but it’s unclear what it will look like and when you will need it.

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