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LIVE: STL area coronavirus updates, March 18: Here's what we know

LIVE: STL area coronavirus updates, March 18: Here's what we know

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The spread of the new coronavirus is continuing to affect daily life throughout the St. Louis area. Missouri now has 24 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Missouri reported Wednesday its first COVID-19 death. Two Washington University physicians, one in St. Louis and one in St. Louis County, have tested positive, as have two out-of-state students. Social gatherings of more than 10 are banned in St. Louis starting Friday. The federal government wants to send $500 billion to Americans. Illinois cases soared to 288, with a third case in St. Clair County. And the April 7 municipal elections in Missouri moved to June.   

6:50 p.m. — ST. CHARLES COUNTY — A woman in her 20s is the first confirmed COVID-19 case in St. Charles County, officials announced on Wednesday. The woman's case is travel-related, and she is being isolated in her home, county officials said. St. Charles County is monitoring 191 potential cases. Read more.

6:30 p.m. — ST. LOUIS COUNTY — County Executive Sam Page and the county health department director also barred public gatherings of 10 or more people to stem the coronavirus pandemic, starting just after midnight on Thursday morning. Read more.

6:00 p.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — Twenty-four Missouri residents have now tested positive for COVID-19, Gov. Mike Parson announced at press conference Wednesday evening. Read more.

5:05 p.m. — ST. LOUIS —  Washington University announced two physicians and two students have tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more.  

4:55 p.m. — JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — Restaurants and bars in Jefferson and Warren counties will be closed to "on-premises consumption," county officials announced Wednesday. Read more.

3:45 p.m. — BOONE COUNTY, Mo. — Missouri announced its first COVID-19 death, a person in Boone County in mid-Missouri. Six emergency responders are in quarantine after answering a call to that patient's home. Read more.  

3:35 p.m. — ST. CHARLES — St. Charles County Circuit Court has suspended all jury trials and in-person associate, circuit court and municipal hearings through April 3 with some exceptions and at the discretion of the circuit's presiding judge. The adult abuse office remains open for serving protection orders; weddings, tours and other meetings are suspended.

3:30 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — Social gatherings of more than 10 people are banned in St. Louis starting Thursday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that is rapidly spreading across the country. Mayor Lyda Krewson's action came after the city confirmed its second positive test. Read more. 

3 p.m. — MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — Illinois reported the number of COVID-19 cases soared to 288 Wednesday, jumping from 160 on Tuesday and including one new case in St. Clair County. Gov. J.B. Pritzker made the announcement at a briefing in southern Illinois, where he had been visiting different facilities that are working on the coronavirus pandemic. Read more. 

2:30 p.m. — JEFFERSON CITY – Part of the state's biggest office building will reopen after an employee tested negative for COVID-19. A suit of offices had been shuttered since Monday after a state worker was tested for the virus. Read more. 

1:40 p.m.  — DETROIT — The Detroit Three automakers have agreed to shut down their U.S. plants to stop the spread of coronavirus, bowing to pressure from the union representing about 150,000 hourly workers at those facilities, including 4,000 at the General Motors plant in Wentzville, industry officials said Wednesday. Read more. 

10:55 a.m. — WASHINGTON —  The Treasury Department said Wednesday it wants to start issuing direct payments to Americans by early next month as the centerpiece of a $1 trillion plan to stabilize the economy as the coronavirus epidemic threatens a body slam to taxpayers and businesses. In a memorandum, Treasury proposed two $250 billion cash infusions to individuals: A first set of checks issued starting April 6, with a second wave in mid-May. Read more. 

10:40 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — The city reported a second case of the coronavirus in a person who had kept working while showing symptoms, Mayor Lyda Krewson said. The city health department was notified of the case late Tuesday, and Krewson aid "there's reason to believe there is community exposure." Read more. 

10:34 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — St. Louis employment law firm HKM is offering a free advice hotline to employees in St. Louis with legal questions regarding COVID-19: Anyone with questions can call 314-582-5806 or email to get answers which will be posted on the site. A free online roundtable is set for 2 p.m. on March 25. 

10:15 a.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — The municipal elections set for April 7 across Missouri got moved to June 2 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order making the change. He declared a state of emergency last week. Read more. 

8 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — The symbol of St. Louis closed down Wednesday until further notice. The Gateway Arch National Park said the closure includes the Old Courthouse. It already had suspended tram rides to the top. Read more. 

7:45 a.m. — COLUMBIA — While Illinois and Kansas governors have ordered schools closed statewide, Missouri has not. The governor defended that decision, saying it's best left to local districts. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said that as of Tuesday afternoon, 432 districts and charter schools out of 555 had closed or had plans to close. Read more. 

7 a.m. — ST. LOUIS —  Build-A-Bear Workshops announced Wednesday it will temporarily close its stores through April 2.

6:45 a.m. Social Security offices, which primary serve older Americans, closed their offices to in-person visits. The agency said it still can offer most services online. Read more. 

6:15 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — Schnucks and Dierbergs are setting aside some stores hours for shoppers age 60 and over. Grocery stores in many parts of the nation and world are employing similar tactics, as older people are more at risk of having underlying health conditions that make COVID-19 more dangerous. Read more. 

• Catch up on developments on Sunday, March 15

 • Catch up on developments on Saturday, March 14

Catch up on developments from Friday, March 13

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