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Dozens protest restaurant restrictions outside St. Louis County Executive Sam Page's office

Demonstrators gathered outside Page's office, holding signs and chanting, "We want to work"

CLAYTON, Mo. — Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the office of St. Louis County Executive Sam Page Thursday morning to protest recent restaurant restrictions.

Outside the office on 41 S. Central Ave., people chanted, "We want to work" and held signs with messages such as "Keep us open" and "Put #SamPage and other politicians on a servers wage and watch how fast things change."

The county put into place three new public health orders Tuesday that include a ban on indoor dining at restaurants and bars. Wednesday, 40 county restaurants filed a class-action lawsuit calling the restrictions an "existential threat" and asking a judge to impose a temporary restraining order on the Safer at Home Order.

Coronavirus cases continue to climb across the St. Louis region. An average of 783 county residents test positive every day, according to the county's COVID-9 dashboard. Since the pandemic began, 44,194 people have tested positive and 927 people have died.

Page said in a Wednesday press conference that he believes restaurants and bars are playing a part in the spread of the virus based on "the science of how the virus spreads."  

Page urged Wednesday that if proper precautions are not taken now, more restrictions could be necessary for St. Louis County.

RELATED: US jobless claims increase to 742,000 as pandemic worsens

Earlier Thursday morning, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Missouri's state of emergency will be extended to March 13, 2021. He urged Missourians to take precautions but reiterated that he will not enact a statewide mask mandate.

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