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13,000 COVID-19 tests arrive in St. Louis

The increase in testing capacity means there could be an increase in reported cases, Krewson said

ST. LOUIS — The city received on Wednesday a shipment of 13,000 COVID-19 tests of the 20,000 that were ordered. 

"We'll use those pretty quickly, most likely," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said during her briefing on Facebook live Wednesday afternoon.

The increase in testing capacity means there could be an increase in reported cases, she said, but the cases could be existing cases -- not new cases.

Krewson said she is encouraged by data that shows the numbers of new hospitalizations on Monday and Tuesday are the lowest in recent weeks.

"Things are improving, headed in the right direction," she said.

Bars and restaurants will likely be able to open on May 18, the day that the city will begin to loosen public health restrictions, Krewson said.

However, some businesses, like salons and tattoo parlors, might have to open on a later date. While she did not cite a specific date, she said the city's guidelines will be in line with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control.

"It'll be a soft opening," she said.

It's unclear whether city buildings will be fully open to the public on May 18.

As of May 5, 78 people have died due to COVID-19 in the city. There have been 1,362 total cases and 81 are currently in quarantine due to exposure, according to the city's website.

Wednesday, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said when health restrictions ease, customers and employees may be required to wear masks.

RELATED: Face masks would be required of employees, customers in St. Louis County when restrictions ease

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