In a continued effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community, the City of St. Louis today announced it is moving to close businesses that have continued to ignore public health orders and put the public’s safety in jeopardy.
These are some of the same businesses that have previously received cease and desist letters from the City’s Department of Health but have continued to openly disregard rules that require people to socially distance and wear masks as evident from news reports and social media posts.
“So many of our businesses including bars, restaurants, large venues, retail stores, and offices, have gone to great lengths to strictly comply with our mandates to protect their workers and the public. They’re doing it right,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson. “Establishments who continue to openly flout these rules and endanger the public’s health and safety can no longer stay open.”
This enforcement action of closing non-compliant bars and nightclubs for 14 days is an effort to bring them into compliance like many other businesses. The City will continue to monitor compliance among all businesses, explore additional enforcement measures, and issue cease and desist letters when necessary. Non-compliant establishments run the risk of also being shut down.
According to the City of St. Louis Department of Health, positive COVID-19 cases have continued to increase over the last month, especially among younger individuals in their 20’s and 30’s. In fact, people under the age of 40 accounted for 64% of the City’s overall positive case count in just the last 30 days.
“Physically distancing ourselves from one another and wearing a face covering are proven means of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses,” said Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the City of St. Louis. “There has to be changes in our behavior if we are going to slow the rise of infections that we are seeing in the metropolitan area. The data is telling us that enough individuals are not changing their behavior. We will take the necessary actions to protect the health of residents and visitors.”
Additionally, members of the public are strongly encouraged to choose outdoor spaces for dining whenever possible. Dr. Echols also recommends keeping your personal social gatherings at home, in parks, and at church to very small, limited groups with social distancing and masks and/or face coverings.
Industry-specific business guidance and standards can also be found on the City’s website.