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St. Louis County announces easing of restrictions on youth sports, business capacity

Doug Moore, a spokesman for Page's office, said football is one of the sports that will have restrictions eased

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has announced the easing of restrictions on youth sports and businesses.

Student athletes will once again be able to participate in high-contact sports, including football. Any schools that want to resume games must first submit a plan to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health for review. The county is accepting those plans as of Monday morning. 

In announcing the easing of restrictions on youth sports, Page said COVID-19 conditions are stable enough in the county to allow for the guidelines to be eased.

He also said the numbers are decreasing among teenagers, which has led the county to recommend a return to in-person learning for high school students.

Page also announced an increase in capacity limits for businesses, going from 25% to 50%. The change goes into effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The county executive thanked the community for following the mask mandate and social distancing guidelines. He said those actions helped save lives and get the county to where it is today.

You can watch Sam Page's full announcement from Monday in the video player below.

On Sept. 23, Page announced new guidelines that allowed middle school students to participate in both moderate-contact and high-contact sports.

Under those guidelines, which went into effect on Sept. 28, high school students would be allowed to participate in moderate-contact sports, like soccer and baseball. However, they were still not able to participate in high-contact sports, including football and basketball.

During the Sept. 23 briefing, Page said the positivity rate among 15 to 19-year-olds has dropped from 20% to around 7% in the last few weeks.

"This means more of those adolescents are getting tested and more of those test results are coming back negative," he said. "Those are the kind of results that we want to see. We need to see it continue. We need to see kids continue to get tested."

Page said he expected to make more announcements regarding high school athletics in the coming weeks.

Page's spokesman did not say what changes could be coming for business capacity.

Last week, county council members sent a resolution to Page and the health department asking the county to increase occupancy limits to at least 50%. The current restrictions limit capacity to 25%.