Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise sharply in St. Louis County, where the daily new case average is approaching 500, or more than double what it was one month ago. Hospitals are filling up and the state of Missouri is setting new records every day.
As County Executive Dr. Sam Page said this morning, no one wants to shut down the economy. However, COVID-19 transmission can not continue to rage out of control in our community. This is the last chance to slow the spread of COVID-19 before more public health orders will be issued.
We are working with the Pandemic Task Force to determine precise data points that will trigger more restrictions. Those data points will involve the number of new cases and the capacity of our hospital system.
Therefore, Dr. Page is asking all county residents to do the following immediately:
1. Avoid personal interactions. If you can work from home, do so. If you can conduct business virtually, do so. If you can provide curbside service to keep customers from gathering inside, do so. Remember, the safest place to stay is your home.
2. Wear masks everywhere, except with your immediate household. It doesn’t matter how much you trust your friends. This is not a trust issue. It’s a kindness and safety issue.
3. To help our residents stay connected while limiting the threat of large outbreaks, we ask everyone to identify a small group -- under 10 people -- that you come in regular contact with. That could be your family or perhaps another household or two that you regularly interact with. It could be close friends or colleagues. We ask that you limit your personal interactions to this group. When you see members of your group, please continue to social distance and wear masks. If any member of your group gets sick or tests positive, that person MUST alert everyone in the group, immediately, so that they can quarantine and get a test. In other words, each group must do its own contact tracing. Why? Because of the extremely high number of new cases, the Department of Public Health must prioritize its contact tracing to focus on the most vulnerable people. That might not be you or your friends.
4. If you have participated in a gathering such as a wedding, a party or a funeral, or if you have traveled to see others, it is our strong recommendation that you immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. This will limit the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others.
No gatherings are safe. This cannot be emphasized enough. There are not enough protections that can be in place for weddings, services, events, festivals, or a party in your own backyard that will keep people you love safe from COVID. St. Louis County recommends that you go virtual with these gatherings, or wait.
5. Now, more than ever, remember this: Hands, face and space. Wash your hands regularly, cover your face with a mask and keep six feet of space between yourself and others. We urge everyone to take these steps now to give us a chance to avoid more drastic orders. Do it for your community, for your friends and for your family.
The flu vaccine will not protect you from COVID-19. However, like COVID-19, the flu is a respiratory illness. It is possible to get flu and COVID-19 at the same time. That’s why it's important to take steps to prevent both diseases. With both the flu and COVID-19 circulating this fall and winter, we want to do everything we can to keep our community healthy so we do not overwhelm our health care system. Appointments are required for both COVID-19 testing and flu vaccines. Click here to make a reservation. Please note the latest pop-up testing locations:
John C Murphy Drive Thru
6121 N Hanley Rd, Berkeley, MO 63134
SOUTH COUNTY HEALTH CENTER
4580 S Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63127