With the number of positive COVID-19 cases rising drastically in the county, St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann is sending a stern message to residents: Change your behaviors immediately to stop the spread.
“Our county is facing a severe rise in positive cases and hospitalizations, as well as an increase in deaths,” says Ehlmann. “I am calling on each county resident to do what is necessary to help us get this virus under control.”
Ehlmann did not order the closing of any restaurants or bars at the onset of COVID-19 in the spring, and instead entrusted residents to limit their activities to work and those they found essential. The county was successful in keeping its numbers down, but as people relaxed their healthy practices in the summer and early fall, infections are soaring.
“One of the biggest issues we have is that people are not limiting their contacts,” Ehlmann says. “We all must be doing that immediately so we can keep our kids in school and our businesses open. Our hospitals tell me they are on the verge of being at capacity, and if that happens, there won’t be beds available for anyone, no matter what health care issue they are facing.”
Ehlmann says the spread of COVID-19 is such that the actions we take today will prevent new outbreaks 14 days from now. “I am not asking people to stop living their lives,” he says, “but I am asking them to limit their activities to the critical things such as work and school. By doing so, we can better ensure that the community can enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season.”
Ehlmann is advising everyone to do the following:
- Limit daily activities to work, school and necessary errands.
- Avoid bars and restaurants where you can’t social distance.
- Use carry-out rather than dining in.
- Wear a mask in public or when around people outside of your household.
- Keep weekly contacts to less than 10 people.
- Avoid groups that exceed 10 people.
- Frequently sanitize commonly touched surfaces.
- Wash your hands often.
“It shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone that these are things we need to do,” Ehlmann says. “We just need to do them. All of them. All of us.” For more information on COVID-19, visit sccmo.org/COVID, or call the Department of Public Health hotline at 636-949-1899.