ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Mayor Lyda Krewson and County Executive Dr. Sam Page have issued a stay at home order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the area.
The restrictions started Monday and will require people to stay at home when possible except for essential activities. The county's stay-at-home order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, while the city's started at 6 p.m.
The order is in effect for 30 days, ending at 6 p.m. on April 22. It will then be re-evaluated at that time.
Mayor Lyda Krewson held a press conference and took questions announcing the order.
"This situation will only get worse, much worse if we don't act right now," Krewson said defending the order.
Krewson explained why this move is necessary, "We have evidence of community spread, community transmission of the COVID-19 virus in the St. Louis Region. That means we have reached the point where new infections are not related to travel, but they are also being transmitted person-to-person and that is happening locally."
"This is not a decision that was made lightly, it's a difficult choice. We must choose between saving lives and saving our livelihoods," Page added during his separate press conference.
The announcement comes after a woman in St. Louis County died after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
What are essential activities?
Any tasks or activities essential to the health or safety of an individual, family or household.
- Obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor or other health care provider
- Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as
food, pet food, and supplies necessary for staying at home
- Obtaining supplies necessary for maintaining a household
- Obtaining supplies necessary for working from home
- Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, or running
- Performing work providing essential services at an Essential Business
- Caring for a family member in another household
- Caring for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
What about businesses and organizations that provide services for an essential activity?
All businesses are allowed to maintain the value of inventory and infrastructure, provide security, process payroll or employee benefits, or facilitate employees working remotely, but are required to cease all other activities.
The following are exempt from the above requirements:
- Childcare facilities
- Government operations
- Restaurants for consumption off-premises
- Food, beverage (to go, carry out or curbside), liquor stores and cannabis production and agriculture
- Lawn care companies
- Financial institutions
- Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations and auto repair facilities
- Garbage collection
- Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses.
- Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;
- Organizations that provide charitable and social services
- Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers.
- Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry out
- Transportation, for purpose of essential travel.
- Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods directly to residences;
FAQs about social distancing and the stay-at-home order
Q: Do I have to go to work on Monday?
A: Each individual is encouraged to check with their employer to see if they are considered an essential business or service in the City. Employers seeking guidance can reference the order or contact the Department of Health.
If you believe that your job is non-essential, contact the St. Louis County/ City Counselor. Be sure you protect yourself and others by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands, using hand sanitizer, and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between workers.
Q: Is it mandatory or is it just a guidance?
A: This is a mandatory order. If you do not comply you could be cited with a Class A misdemeanor.
Q: What if I work in a different county that is not implementing this type of order?
A: This order allows travel to and from work to operate essential businesses, maintain essential government functions, or carry out minimum basic operations. Use your best judgment; anyone who can stay home should stay home.
Q: Can I use ride share, on-demand service or a taxi?
A: Yes, but only for essential travel. If you use one of these services, be sure to take preventative precautions. Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue.
Q: Can I take public transit?
A: Yes. Though there may be reduced hours or service, the order considers roads/highways, airports, light rail, buses, ride shares, taxis & Amtrak essential. Check the individual schedules in advance.
ACTIVITIES / SOCIAL EVENTS
Q: Am I allowed to go visit a loved one or hang out with a friend?
A: Nonessential social mixing is prohibited. Per the order, individuals living within the City or County must remain inside their home except for essential activities related to employment, health/safety & outdoor exercise
Q: Can I go for a walk in my neighborhood?
A: Yes, but perform social distancing and stay 6 feet away from all other persons.
Q: What sports can I play?
A: You can engage in certain activities outdoors, but you should not play sports indoors or play team sports. Do NOT engage in sports where a ball is passed from person to person. Sports that are permitted (as long as you maintain at least 6 feet from anyone else and don’t share equipment):
- Yoga on your own (no sharing blocks or mats)
- Running alone or with others at a distance
- Riding your bike (alone/with distance)
- Walking (alone/with distance)
- Swimming in your own pool/hot tub
- Shooting baskets by yourself, or hitting a tennis ball against a backboard
Q: Can personal trainers train at a client's home? What about outdoors?
A: Personal training, even outdoors and with a single client, is not allowed
Q: Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents who require assistance to care for themselves? Or a family member who has disabilities?
Yes. Be sure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue.
Q: Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility?
A:It is strongly recommended that you do not go to a hospital unless you are seeking emergency medical attention or accompanying a minor who is under 18 years old or someone who needs assistance. Please use alternative ways to communicate with loved ones at nursing homes and residential care facilities, like FaceTime and texting. The residents at those locations are the most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Q: What about daycare and child care?
A: Per the order, childcare facilities that provide services to emergency first responders and all emergency personnel are exempt and considered an essential business.