Gyms, larger events, summer camps in St. Louis' next reopening phase; No plans for mask requirement

"We're expecting more guidelines to come out on large venues maybe later on this week," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says.

Michael Calhoun
May 19, 2020 - 4:38 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The City of St. Louis says you should wear a face mask, but won't say you must wear one.

Mayor Lyda Krewson says she's encouraged by seeing people voluntarily cover their face while going out. And while she won't make it mandatory in public spaces in the city, she empathizes with local businesses who are trying to enforce it with their customers. 

Related: Health department recommends greater St. Louis area needs to hire about 600 contact tracers
Related: Saint Louis Zoo hopes for 'early June' reopening; Will require face masks, reservations

"They have to post an employee outside and that employee has to take a lot of flack from customers who don't want to wear masks," Krewson says. "Some have been spat on, some have been cussed and even one had a knife pulled on them, I heard."

She says the city can't provide security for all public places to enforce a possible mask requirement. 

Krewson says she'd like to see people to carry extra masks to help out their fellow citizens who may be without.

Krewson was on a Zoom video with local business leaders on Tuesday and was asked about the next phase of reopening, including larger events, gyms and summer camps. 

"We're expecting more guidelines to come out on large venues maybe later on this week," Krewson says. "And we'll be watching the numbers, watching the metrics."

She says the "most key metric" is the number of people are being admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. 

The Saint Louis Zoo says it's hoping to open in early June, but is waiting for permission from the city. Director of the zoo Michael Macek says there will be some big changes when they reopen, such as a mask requirement for guests and reservations at specific times will be necessary for anyone who wants to come through the gates. 

The first phase of reopening in St. Louis began on Monday, with restaurants, salons, malls and other nonessential businesses allowed to open its doors to customers. You can read the full phase one plan here.

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