LIVE: STL area coronavirus updates, April 4. Here's what we know now

LIVE: STL area coronavirus updates, April 4. Here's what we know now

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The coronavirus is affecting all aspects of life around St. Louis.

Cities across the St. Louis region face huge budget problems during the coronavirus crisis. Missouri's statewide stay-at-home order begins Monday. Childbirth during the coronavirus crisis faces big changes. Illinois tops 10,000 cases and has 243 deaths. These are some of Saturday's developments.

5 p.m. — ST. LOUIS AREA — The death toll from the coronavirus in the region jumped by two, as health department officials revealed that a woman in her 80s in St. Louis and a man in his 70s in St. Charles County have succumbed to the disease.

3:30 p.m. — MISSOURI — Missouri Health and Senior Services Director Randall W. Williams said that of about 10,000 hospital beds in the state, about 3,500 are currently available. He added that of roughly 2,000 ventilators in the state, about 1,100 are available.

3 p.m. — MISSOURI — The Missouri Hospital Association on Saturday said that there were 413 confirmed COVID-19 patients currently in the hospital and 451 patients under investigation for the disease, with 115 of 154 hospitals in the state reporting data. They said 661 ICU beds were available out of 2,129 total.

2:30 p.m. — ILLINOIS — Illinois topped 10,000 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, when the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,453 new cases and 33 more deaths. That brings the state's total to 10,357 cases in 68 counties, with 243 deaths.

12:30 p.m. — ST. LOUIS COUNTY — Officials on Saturday reported four new deaths in St. Louis County, bringing the total to 11, with 862 positive cases. 

11 a.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri is seeking retired health care workers and students to form a disaster response team to help with the coronavirus crisis. Those selected will become part of the Missouri Disaster Medical Assistance Team, which will assist in traditional health care locations or deploy around the state if necessary. They are asking retirees, students and those who have a recently expired medical license to apply online at missourionestart.com/moshcf/.

10 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis-area health system will likely be strained but not overwhelmed by the coming surge of the new coronavirus before cases peak in the next two to three weeks, the head of a new regional response force said. Read more.

9:30 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — Ten employees of Bi-State Development have tested positive for COVID-19, the agency said Friday. Read more. 

8 a.m. — For most of the 100-plus municipalities in the St. Louis region, the lifeblood of the budget is sales tax. And when no one’s going to restaurants or shopping at malls, the hit is sure to trickle down to the public services — from police to potholes — for the region’s 2.8 million residents. Read more. 

7 a.m. — Labor and delivery departments at hospitals across St. Louis are grappling with the need to protect the lives of health care workers and patients while supporting the joy of bringing life into the world. Area hospitals have had to institute difficult changes. Perhaps the most heartbreaking is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that newborns be separated from mothers who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or could have the disease caused by the coronavirus. Read more. 

•Catch up on developments Friday, April 3 

8 p.m. — MARYLAND HEIGHTS — The city closed parks here at 8 p.m. Friday to help encourage social distancing and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Vago, Eise, McKelvey Woods, Quiet Hollow and Parkwood parks will be closed until at least April 22, Mayor Mike Moeller said

7:30 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — People experiencing homelessness are setting up tents in a park across from Stifel Theater, near Market Street, to help protect themselves from coronavirus. Yusef Scoggin, director of family and health services in St. Louis County and chairman of St. Louis Area Regional Commission, said Friday that, according to national statistics, about 40% of people experiencing homelessness are likely to end up with COVID-19. 

6 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — Four women in the city have died of coronavirus, bringing the city's total death toll to five. Three of the women were older than 70 years old, and one was in her 50s. 

In all, the city reported 27 new cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 297.

5 p.m. — JEFFERSON CITY —  Gov. Mike Parson put all Missouri residents under a stay-at-home order Friday, ending days of frustration for critics who said he should have taken the action weeks ago to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The order starts at midnight Sunday (12 a.m. Monday). Read more. 

2:45 p.m. — CHICAGO — With 53 deaths reported in one 24-hour period, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzer said Friday that 210 people in Illinois have died in the coronavirus outbreak. Read more. 

2:30 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — Mayor Lyda Krewson said Friday that she thinks it's "very likely" the city's stay-at-home order will be extended past April 22, "but we have not made that decision. We will make that decision based on science and data." She said she expects to make that call in the next week or two. The mayor said she has no plans to close the city's 109 parks but urged people to practice social distancing. She said playgrounds would remain closed.

2:20 p.m. — JEFFERSON CITY —   In March, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson urged the House to give him the power to spend $33 million in federal funds to fight the coronavirus. Now, with two weeks of deaths and a mushrooming number of positive cases, the governor’s request has ballooned to more than $2.5 billion. Read more.

2 p.m. — ST. LOUIS —  It was just two guys, one on tuba and the other on trombone, slowly walking down a St. Louis street.  But the impromptu two-man brass band made up of roommates Dominique Burton and Benjamin Kosberg lifted up neighbors in Tower Grove sheltering in their homes this week to slow the coronavirus pandemic. Read more. 

1 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — Baseball equipment maker Rawlings is laying off 130 people at its plant in Washington, Mo. Read more. 

12:15 p.m. — JEFFERSON CITY —  Missourians across the state are reporting cases of inflated prices for food, toilet paper and hand sanitizer to the attorney general’s office. The office received more than 250 complaints of price gouging from March 1 to March 24, including $10 for a single roll of toilet paper. Read more.  

11:15 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — Fair St. Louis, the region's annual and massive Fourth of July celebration, officially got canceled on Friday. Organizers said with the coronavirus pandemic, the safety of people needs to be the top priority. Read more.

10 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — There will be no performances by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra through mid-May. Read more

 

6 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — The most crowded place these days is the grocery, where often it’s difficult — if not impossible — to stay far from other shoppers, amid coronavirus fears. And it leaves grocers in a tough spot, navigating how to keep people away from each other when stores are bustling with customers stocking up to hunker down. Grocers have put together a list of tactics, some deployed more uniformly, others unique. Read more. 

5 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — No Cardinals games, no Blues game and no pay for many of the people at Fox Sports Midwest. From the names in the booth to the behind-the-scenes people, no season so far means no work. Read more. 

•Catch up on developments Thursday, April 2

Catch up on developments from Wednesday, April 1

• Area events canceled or postponed

• COVID-19 cases in Missouri by county

• Cases in Missouri by date

• Cases in the United States

• CDC fact sheet: Prevention and treatment 

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