ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page reiterated how different the county is when it comes to the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases when compared to the rest of the state.
During his Wednesday morning briefing, Page said 40% of the confirmed cases in the state are in the county. He also said Missouri Gov. Mike Parson recognizes that the St. Louis area is different when it comes to the COVID-19 response due to having so many of the confirmed cases.
Earlier this week, Gov. Parson outlined the first phase of the state’s plan to reopen on May 4.
St. Louis County remains under a stay-at-home order until further notice.
“We believe our residents have gotten used to social distancing, it is working,” Page said. He stressed the importance of testing.
When it comes to reopening the county – Page said there is not a timeline as of right now. He said the county needs to be confident that cases are going down and access to testing before deciding on relaxing social distancing guidelines.
Eureka, which is located in both St. Louis and Jefferson counties and near the border of Franklin County, will allow businesses to reopen in accordance with Gov. Parson's "Phase 1" plan on May 4.
Page said he would encourage any business in St. Louis County to get good legal advice. He also said it would create a “complicated legal environment” for any individual that goes into a business that is in violation and gets infected.
"I would encourage any business in St. Louis County to get good legal advice about what it means to be operating outside of the laws of St. Louis County. In the past, when businesses were in violation of our order and we sent them a letter and noticed them, that they all complied very quickly," he said.
"There is a law surrounding workers compensation and exposure at work for employees. And if someone is exposed to COVID-19 at their place of employment and that place is in violation of a public health order, that would add an added complication to the relationship with their insurance carrier."
Page said he recognizes that this is a very frustrating situation.
“We only have once chance to get this right,” Page said.
Page also officially signed the CARES Act, which was passed on Tuesday by the county council. It’ll allow the county to spend funds on COVID-19-related expenses. It’ll also help reimburse the following expenses: 1.3 million masks, 700 gloves, 34,000 gowns, 84,000 units of hand sanitizer, 12,000 safety glasses.
As of April 29, there are 3060 confirmed cases in the county, 95 of those are new within the last 24 hours. According to the county’s dashboard, 159 people have died due to complications from COVID-19 and 1,067 people have been released from isolation.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Page will hold briefings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30 a.m.
5 On Your Side will livestream the briefings on the 5 On Your Side app and KSDK.com.