ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson announced the city will be temporarily shutting down some businesses "that have obviously ignored" public health orders put in place to flatten the rise in COVID-19 cases.
The announcement came after a video surfaced over the weekend showing a packed crowd at a popular downtown bar.
The mayor's office told News 4 the follow restaurants and bars will be closed for 14 days: Marquee Restaurant and Lounge, The Start Bar, Big Daddy's on the Landing and The Wheelhouse.
Five other businesses were served warning letters, but the names of those establishments have not been released.
What led to the closures?
Krewson tweeted about the video showing a crowded downtown bar Monday saying, "it is both reckless and unfair to other businesses working hard to do it right." The video shows people dancing with no social distance or masks.
About three hours later, Krewson tweeted again and said business establishments who ignored requiring masks and social distancing will be temporarily shut down as they "have jeopardized the health and safety of our community and the general public."
Some of the businesses have previously received cease and desist letters from the city's health department but continued to disregard the city's orders, according to a press release. Krewson said anytime someone files a complaint about a business, the city calls said business and educates them.
Officials said closing non-compliant bars and nightclubs for 14 days is an effort to "bring them into compliance like many other businesses."
"We're trying to avoid shutting down a whole classification of businesses. We don't think that is the fair thing to do," Krewson said in a Monday afternoon briefing. "We're just using what I would call a surgical approach to this rater than a blanket approach."
This is the same day St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced new restrictions after a surge in cases in the county in the last month. All county businesses will have to decrease their capacity from 50% to 25% starting on Friday.
Krewson and the city paused the next phase of reopening last week due to an "alarming upward trending of COVID-19 cases." Businesses were supposed to be allowed to reach 100% capacity on July 20, but that order has been rescinded and capacity was set to remain at 75%.
In all of June, the city reported a total of 651 cases. So far in July, the city added 1,558 cases, a 139.32% increase. The city has seen an increase of cases among people in their 20s and 30s. According to the city's health department, people under 40 accounted for 64% of all cases reported in the last month.
“There has to be changes in our behavior if we are going to slow the rise of infections that we are seeing in the metropolitan area," Dr. Fredrick Echols said. "The data is telling us that enough individuals are not changing their behavior. We will take the necessary actions to protect the health of residents and visitors.”
The public is asked to report businesses violating the city's orders by calling 314-622-4800 or online here.
As of Sunday, St. Louis City had a total of 3,901 cases and 164 deaths.