ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson gave a briefing on the city's response to COVID-19. She also discussed the coronavirus' impact on the city's budget and new plans for buying body cameras and dash cameras for St. Louis police officers.
Krewson was on Facebook Live, taking questions from the media and public. You can watch the full update in the Facebook post below.
As of June 16, there have been 2,234 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 142 people have died since the pandemic began. Also, 72 people are being quarantined due to exposure, according to the city's website.
Krewson said she is closely watching two metrics, which will indicate how the COVID-19 is impacting region: the percentage of people who test positive and the number of new hospital admissions. She said both metrics have shown downward trends.
The mayor thanked the community for continuing to take precautions, like social distancing, wearing masks and keeping social circles small, but she stressed the virus is still in the community.
“COVID is not gone, COVID is still with us. There are people still getting sick every day,” Mayor Krewson reminded residents.
The coronavirus also continues to have a significant impact on the city’s budget, the mayor explained, saying it has led to “very, very serious revenue declines.”
The mayor said early in the pandemic, city officials projected a revenue decline of about $50 million and the worst-case scenario was a decrease of $88 million. Krewson said Wednesday it’s now looking like the city’s revenue decline will fall somewhere in the middle, at about $67 million.
The city has received money through the CARES Act. However, as stated in the law of that act, the city cannot use the funds to replace lost revenue. That means the city has made cuts throughout several departments. More than 100 employee positions have been reduced, and the mayor also said the budget for The Workhouse was nearly cut in half from $16 million to $8.8 million.
Despite reductions in several budgets, Mayor Krewson said the city found money to buy body cameras and dash cameras for the city’s police force. A contract has been drawn up and Krewson said there was one signature left before the deal would be official.