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COVID-19 Restrictions And Curfews Lifted At St. Louis, St. Louis County Businesses

Sarah Young reopened her salon in Creve Coeur this week, but customers at Sola Salon must come in one at a time and follow strict safety rules, including wearing a mask and having their temperature taken. Week of 5/22/20
David Kovaluk
St. Louis Public Radio
Sarah Young wears a mask while working last year at Sola Salon in Creve Coeur. St. Louis and St. Louis County officials announced Monday businesses will now be able to operate at full capacity.

Restaurants and businesses in St. Louis and St. Louis County are now allowed to operate without curfews and host customers at full capacity as long as people continue to social distance and wear face masks inside.

Citing a decrease in coronavirus cases and an increased availability of vaccines, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced Monday morning that they were lifting some restrictions that have been in place to stop the spread of the virus for nearly a year.

“Your overwhelming compliance to public health protocols and the wide access to vaccines has us ready to take these next important steps together,” Page said. “This is a guidance we’re getting from our public health experts and our departments of public health in the city and in the county, and it’s that advice that has guided us through this pandemic.”

Both the city and county are allowing people to gather without masks in outdoor areas, such as restaurant and bar patios, but are still requiring patrons to wear face coverings for entry into all businesses. Inside, people still must stay six feet apart from each other.

Those continued social distancing requirements mean many businesses may not be able to operate at full capacity, depending on how big the space is, Page said.

While the city and county have tried for the past 14 months to align their coronavirus-related public health restrictions, Monday’s announcement marks the first time the two have issued a joint order that applies to both jurisdictions.

“This is a new normal, not a return to normal,” Jones said. “Please stay vigilant, please stay masked up and continue to socially distance.”

Local officials made their changes based on new guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new guidelines say people who have waited two weeks after receiving their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can gather in groups safely.

The region is also adopting the federal agency’s guidelines for hotels, construction companies and other businesses, according to the newly issued public health order.

Over the past week, St. Louis has seen an average of 56 new cases per day, an increase of 11% over the past 14 days, according to data from the New York Times. St. Louis County has seen an average of 157 cases each day, down 4% in the past two weeks.

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @Petit_Smudge

Sarah is the health reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

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