ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis are not ready to reopen while most of the state begins the first phase of the reopening plan.
County Executive Sam Page said during a Monday briefing that he’s not ready to settle on a specific date to end the county’s stay-at-home order. However, he said he is working with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson on a timeline.
“Our goal is to have a timeline by mid-week with guidance for businesses, as well. It’s too early today to pick a date and start building around that date – we really need to see the reports from Dr. Garza over the weekend,” Page said.
The decision will be data-driven, Page said.
“We both [Page and Krewson] have a target of mid-May, but neither one of us are prepared to settle on any specific date yet.” Page said.
Page reiterated how different the county is when it comes to the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases compared to the rest of the state.
“It’s clear St. Louis County has been hit harder than the rest of the state,” Page said.
He said the county makes up for 65% of the state’s cases.
“In order to ease our safety restrictions in our community, we need to see the data. Hospitalizations need to be coming down, hospital admissions need to be coming down and the ICU admissions need to be coming down,” Page said. “In addition, we need to have a robust testing environment.”
Page reminded people to continue to follow the county's social distancing guidelines as other places surrounding the county reopen.
“It's very important the people in St. Louis County respect the social distancing guidelines that are here,” he said.
Page said the county’s bidding process for more testing supplies will close at 5 p.m. Monday. He said this is a very important variable when it comes to the process of moving forward.
He also emphasized the importance of contact tracing. The county plans to hire at least 100 more people to help with contact tracing.
"We know that when we ease our restrictions that the virus will spread in our community. It has to spread at a rate that is controlled and we have to be able to provide medical care for the people that are infected," Page said.
Page has been holding briefings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30 a.m. as the pandemic continues.
5 On Your Side will livestream the briefings on the 5 On Your Side app and KSDK.com.
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