St. Louis County extends stay-at-home order until at least 'mid-May'

"Now is not the time to weaken the social distancing policies that are working."

Sam Masterson
April 16, 2020 - 10:34 am

    ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) - St. Louis County will be extending its stay-at-home order until at least the middle of May, says County Executive Sam Page. 

    "Our stay-at-home order will be extended for now and I will revisit it in mid-May. We have made progress, but now is not the time to weaken the social distancing policies that are working," Page tweeted Thursday morning. 

     Page says it's clear to him that they haven't reached the peak of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

    "And until we get to the other side of this, we just can't weaken our social distancing measures," Page says. "As a County, we have to recognize we have more cases than anywhere in the state, we have more people who are sick and we have to act decisively try and save lives."

    Page was asked what if Missouri Gov. Mike Parson opens Missouri back,  or relaxes stay at home restrictions. Page says, "I think we'll wait and see what Governor Parson wants to do and then we'll try and understand the wording of it and so forth."

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    The decision by Page comes a day after St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson extended the city's stay-at-home order indefinitely.

    The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force is now predicting 71,000 people in the region will be infected by the end of the month – down from earlier estimates around 80,000.

    Related: Tent for the dead in south St. Louis ready if needed

    As of Wednesday afternoon, St. Louis County has 1,938 cases and 63 deaths due to COVID-19, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The City of St. Louis is reporting 27 COVID-19 deaths and 743 positive cases.

    Missouri governor considers reopening state economy

    Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday that his decision on the future of a state-wide stay-at-home order is imminent. 

    “I think we’re all going to move forward with this as soon as we can and we’re preparing for that day, to be able to move the economy forward,” Parson said. “We’ll be able to say more on that in the near future.”

    Related: Twin sisters, 92, in East St. Louis battle coronavirus anxiety together

    Missouri’s death toll from COVID-19 went up by 16 on Wednesday, for a total of 153, according to data Wednesday from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering, which has been tracking cases worldwide. Johns Hopkins also cited 4,784 cases in Missouri, which was 253 more than the 4,531 cases reported Tuesday.

    State officials announced that Missouri would be getting more than $360 million in federal stimulus money.

    Parson said Missouri will receive $152.4 million for 75 airports. Lambert Airport in St. Louis will get $60 million of that, and Kansas City International will receive $43.3 million. Airports in the Springfield-Branson area, Cape Girardeau, Columbia, and Joplin also are receiving more than $1 million each.

    The state’s education commissioner, Margie Vandeven, said Missouri will receive $208 million in federal funds to help grades K-12. The money will be used to “address the digital divide” and challenges caused by school closures.

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