ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — St. Charles County announced changes related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting Wednesday, all bars and restaurants in the county must close by 11 p.m. until further notice.
“St. Charles County Government is working hard to keep our kids in school, keep our young adults out of the bars, and keep all of us out of the hospital,” said St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “It takes everyone, including school officials, and restaurant and bar owners, to stop the spread of this virus.”
The county said after 11 p.m., overwhelming crowds are making social distancing impossible. Officials fear the situation will worsen Wednesday night, which is traditionally the busiest night of the year for bars and nightclubs.
Ehlmann tells 5 On Your Side this past weekend there were many examples of people ignoring social distancing and any sort of precautions.
The decision was also made in response to a recent announcement from Governor Mike Parson and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The announcement placed St. Charles County in the "extreme risk" category.
“Other jurisdictions in the area have similar orders in place, and we need to make certain that St. Charles County is not a magnet for those who want to stay out late and party in groups,” Ehlmann said. “We need to stem the rise in positive cases in St. Charles County.”
The county also announced an agreement to implement Missouri’s school reopening and operating guidance updates. On Nov. 12, the state announced updates that were intended to keep children who are not positive for the virus in the classroom.
St. Charles County is adopting the updates as a modification to quarantine to allow teachers and students to stay in the classroom when they are a close contact without symptoms or a positive test, according to a press release.
Schools must continue to enforce mask mandates.
“We look to our partners in the county to assist us in getting our students, faculty and staff through this pandemic while making every effort to continue the education process,” said Bernie DuBray, superintendent of Fort Zumwalt School District. “I believe I can speak for all school districts when I say we appreciate their concern for both health and education safety. As a county, we are working together to determine what is best for everyone during this unprecedented time.”
DuBray announced the change will begin within the school district on Nov. 30.
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