ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — In three days, St. Louis County will begin to ease restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
County Executive Sam Page said the decision has been data driven.
“This will be a balance between getting economy going and protecting our residents and our employees at some of these businesses,” Page said.
The importance of testing continues to be one of Page’s top priorities.
“We will soon be able to make sure everyone who has symptoms regardless of health history can have a test in St. Louis County and we will begin testing asymptomatic in high risk populations,” Page said.
The county said it plans to test all inmates and staff at the justice center and juvenile center.
Page said as the county gradually reopens, he doesn’t expect to see a spike in cases, but he does expect a bump. He said with more testing, there will be more cases. As well as with more people moving around the county, the risk of transmission is higher.
“I believe people in St. Louis County have become more comfortable with wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large crowds,” he said.
Thirty-three parks in the county reopened on April 28 and on May 18, 21 more will reopen. Bathrooms, courts and other indoor park facilities will remain closed.
Page said to help the 30,000 businesses in the county, he has created an economic rescue team. The team will provide him with input on economic issues for workers and businesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team will be the eyes and ears during the process, he said. The team will be led by five people and will have sub-committees.
Earlier this week, Page said he believes some businesses will still hesitate when it comes to reopening on May 18 as they try to manage the risk of COVID-19 in their place of business and how they decide how much business they will have as they actually reopen.
Page will continue to hold briefings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week as the pandemic continues.