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St. Louis County to allow small gatherings, reopening of some businesses May 18

The public health order recommends residents wear face coverings and requires employees to wear face coverings

ST. LOUIS — Residents, customers and business owners will have new guidelines to follow when restrictions ease on May 18.

According to the order, which St. Louis County Executive Sam Page released Friday, county residents should not organize or attend gatherings of more than 10 people in a single space, outdoors or indoors. People must abide by social distancing requirements.

Face coverings are "recommended," for people over the age of 2 and medically able in the following areas: all public closed spaces, outdoors when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained and on any form of public transit.

Business operations are not considered gatherings. The order allows some businesses to resume or continue operating at limited capacity. However, other businesses, including entertainment venues, sporting venues, gyms and bars that serve primarily alcohol, may not open.

The businesses that are allowed to open must adhere to the following protocol: 

  • All businesses shall require frequent disinfection processes of all high-touch surfaces and any other areas that may be frequently touched by customers, employees, volunteers or any other individuals.
  • All businesses shall provide reasonable breaks for employees and volunteers to wash hands.
  • All businesses shall train employees about procedures related to Disinfection Processes and Social Distancing Requirements.
  • All businesses shall provide employees and volunteers working in the businesses' facility with face Coverings or supplies to make face coverings.
  • All businesses shall require employees or volunteers to wear face coverings while at work unless such employee or volunteer is working alone in an enclosed area or has a medical reason not to wear a face Covering.
  •  All businesses shall conduct daily screening of employees and volunteers who work in their facilities for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • All businesses shall encourage employees or volunteers to quarantine or isolate if they have or are believed to have COVID-19 or if they have come into contact with individual(s) with COVID-19.

Businesses may also deny entry to people who are not wearing face coverings for non-medical reasons, the order said.

In addition, businesses will have to operate under limited capacity. Buildings with square footage of less than 10,000 square feet shall limit capacity to 25% of authorized fire or building code. For businesses larger than 10,000 square feet, capacity shall be limited to 10%, according to the order.

Some businesses will not be allowed to fully open. 

The order states, "the following businesses and venues are prohibited from operating or re-opening except with respect to the minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of a business’s inventory, provide security, process payroll or employee benefits, or to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely: entertainment, conference and sporting venues (regardless of square footage); gyms and fitness centers; banquet rooms; bars and businesses that primarily serve alcohol and do not serve full meals are limited to curbside and pickup service; indoor and outdoor pools except those located at an individual’s residence; sporting events; sports courts; and playgrounds."

The order is in place without an end date.

To read the entire order:

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