St. Louis County stay-at-home order extended indefinitely, for at least another month

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By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

St. Louis County and St. Louis city’s stay-at-home orders have been extended indefinitely, at least through mid-May. And the announcements came through Twitter.

County Executive Sam Page tweeted Thursday, “Our stay-at-home order will be extended for now and I will revisit it in mid-May. We have made progress, but now is not the time to weaken the social distancing policies that are working.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson tweeted after Page that she would also be extending the city’s stay-at-home order, with more details to come at her afternoon briefing on Facebook Live.

The head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, Alex Garza, had said in his daily briefing Wednesday afternoon that he wanted to see the stay-at-home orders extended through mid-May for the entire region, which covers St. Louis County and city and 13 other counties in Missouri and Illinois.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force released this slide Wednesday showing the originally projected ‘worst-case scenario’ versus the current projected cases after stay-at-home orders were put into place.

Before the tweets from Page and Krewson, the county and city stay-at-home orders extended through April 22 and the Missouri statewide order extended through April 25. The Illinois statewide order has been extended through April 30.

St. Louis County has reported 1,896 cases and 58 deaths as of Wednesday. The region has not yet hit its peak, which is expected to happen around April 25, Garza said. The entire 15-county St. Louis metropolitan area could hit 70,000 cases by the end of April in projections released by the task force Wednesday.

“In looking at the data, and you all have seen the graphs that i just presented — I do not believe that we can even consider relaxing some of these rules until the middle of May,” Garza said.

Page, also a medical doctor, previously appointed Garza to the city-county Board of Freeholders that could make decisions on regional governance.

In response to Page’s announcement, 3rd District County Councilman Tim Fitch mentioned Gov. Mike Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt in his own tweet: “Regarding the newest stay-at-home extension:  Let’s consider our options:  During Ferguson, Gov. Nixon issued an Executive Order removing St. Louis County from command.  Can Gov. Parson issue a similar EO overriding the County Executive’s Order? @Eric_Schmitt @GovParsonMO

Following up, Fitch tweeted, “To be clear, I’m not suggesting that the Governor do it at this point, but we need to know options.”

Fitch and the two other Republican members of the County Council have asked Page to reopen parks.