ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — On Friday, lots of people in St. Charles County were talking about a letter County Executive Steve Ehlmann sent to more than 1,400 owners of bars and restaurants.
In the letter, shared just days before Thanksgiving, Ehlmann told the business owners right now the county is seeing a "severe rise in COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths."
As of Friday, there were 190 covid-related deaths in St. Charles County.
"I think it's becoming intense. I think it's escalating. Most of the fatalities are 70-, 80- and 90-year-old people. We're trying to get a handle on it," said St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer.
The mayor himself recently battled coronavirus.
Borgmeyer self-quarantined for more than two weeks and has since recovered.
"Just started feeling feverish one day and I had it," he said.
In his letter, Steve Ehlmann is especially pleading to bar and restaurant owners to be vigilant and make sure that their patrons wear masks when they sit inside their businesses or pick up carry-out orders.
He also reminds the public to keep practicing social distance, washing their hands often and wearing masks.
"Yes we want everyone to wear one, but I can't send a police officer to every store every time somebody comes in without a mask, so that's where the public and store owners must step up," Borgmeyer said.
"I would rather that they do that, " said a mask-wearing, St. Charles County mom out with her son for dinner Friday night.
"If we want to be out and frequent the restaurants and give them our business then we need to do what's asked of us," the mom said.
"I think eventually if it comes to it, we'll go back to lockdown like we did in March, but I think that's absolutely the last resort," Borgmeyer said.