ST. LOUIS — City officials on Friday extended both the city's 11 p.m. curfew and the occupancy limits for bars and restaurants designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Mayor Lyda Krewson and acting city Health Director Dr. Fredrick Echols first announced the health order Aug. 12 to lower the capacity limit for bars, restaurants and nightclubs to 50% and impose the 11 p.m. closing for those businesses.
The measure was originally set to end Sept. 7 but Krewson announced Friday that it will be extended indefinitely.
"We must remain vigilant to protect our community," Krewson wrote in a social media post announcing the decision.
The order applies only to places that serve alcohol, Krewson has said.
Large venues, including museums, event spaces and theaters, are also capped at 50% occupancy, down from a previous limit this summer of 75%.
St. Louis reported a total of 6,207 COVID-19 cases and 188 deaths by Friday afternoon. The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases in the city fell over the last month from about 90 new cases a day to 39.
Before the order went into effect in mid-August, St. Louis bars and restaurants did not have a curfew nor capacity limits in the city but were required to enforce six-foot distances between customers and follow city guidelines for masks, cleaning and screening employees.
The order also requires all businesses to encourage staff to isolate if they have been exposed to the virus, or while they await results of a COVID-19 test.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page set even tighter restrictions in late July, imposing a 10 p.m. curfew for county bars. At the same time, Page also limited all businesses and churches to 25% occupancy and capped gatherings in the county at 50 or fewer people.
Krewson's bar restrictions have raised concern among some business owners who rely on late-night crowds.
Stephen Savage, a co-owner of the Start Bar, told the Post-Dispatch at the beginning of August that the establishment would need to close indefinitely because of the rule. The arcade bar near Busch Stadium typically stays open until 3 a.m.
“It's impossible for us to generate the revenue that we need to be sustainable,” Savage said last month.
Start Bar and the Wheelhouse, which Savage also co-owns, were two of the four businesses that the city in late July ordered to close for two weeks for violating coronavirus-related measures. A few days before the city's closure order, a video shared on social media showed unmasked patrons at the Wheelhouse.
These maps and charts show the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri and Illinois.
Concerned about COVID-19?
Sign up now to get the most recent coronavirus headlines and other important local and national news sent to your email inbox daily.