St. Louis City shuts down bars failing to social distance

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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City is temporarily closing 3 popular night spots in attempt to stop virus spread.

St. Louis City officials say 3 bars will be served notice to close for 14 days.  Wheelhouse Downtown, Start Bar, and Big Daddy’s will be forced to temporarily close.  The notice comes after video posts on social media created a stir over the weekend.  The videos showed customers not wearing masks and not social distancing.

Mayor Lyda Krewson said the move was a serious step the city did not want to take.  “We have tried to bring people in compliance at this point we believe those businesses that are not complying and will need to close for 2 weeks.”

The action was announced on the same day St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced changes to coronavirus related restrictions.

Only gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted.  Any group that had its plan for an event pre-approved should expect to be contacted by the Department of Public Health to discuss their specific circumstances.

Occupancy rules for all businesses will revert to where they were in June at 25% occupancy.

The Department of Public Health is ordering that all bars close at 10 P.M. every night. The late-night and early morning hours are times when social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoiding crowds are simply not being followed.

The Department of Public Health will be finding new ways to make sure all businesses are following the rules — for the safety of their workers, workers’ families, and their customers. ​

It is also recommended that all people who are awaiting their COVID test results quarantine until they receive the results.  Right now, not all asymptomatic patients have been quarantining, but we now strongly recommend that they do so.  It is recommended that employers work with employees to make quarantining possible. 

Action will also be taken this week to ensure that all health providers are getting their results reported in a timely manner. Due to delays, the Department of Public Health issued a Rapid Notification Order.  But not all testing providers are complying, especially urgent care providers.

The Director of Human Services has been asked to help provide a safe places for teachers who need to quarantine.  Teachers, virtual or in-classroom, are always important, but in a few weeks, teachers will be the new front-line workers.

 St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Incident Commander Dr. Alex Garza supports the moves saying steps must be taken to head off recent trends showing increases in weekly averages of hospital admissions.

“This is a long pandemic that won’t be gone until there’s a vaccine,” said Garza. “We have to remain constantly vigilant and this is all part of the dance that we have with the virus and the whole reason for that is to avoid the hammer, which is the shelter in place.”

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