ST. LOUIS – All events or social gatherings that would include 50 or more people are banned in St. Louis, effective immediately and for the next eight weeks, in a concerted effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
In addition, all public, private, charter and parochial schools are being advised to close by at least Wednesday, March 18, until further notice. Officials will reevaluate this recommendation by April 3.
Mayor Lyda Krewson announced the moves Sunday evening in a statement on Twitter. The decisions follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control.
The city of St. Louis is being joined by St. Louis County and St. Charles County as well as St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois.
Missouri now has five confirmed cases, with two in St. Louis County, two in the Springfield area and one in Henry County, the state said late Saturday.
Gov. Mike Parson strongly encouraged local officials to follow the CDC’s recommendation to cancel or suspend public events with more than 50 people.
Krewson also said on Twitter that officials from all the counties she mentioned were considering whether to require the mandatory closure of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Parson said in a news release Sunday that his recommendations included exceptions for “educational institutions, daycare facilities and business operations.”
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
Missouri now has five confirmed cases, with two in St. Louis County, two in the Springfield area and one in Henry County.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.