CoronavirusHealthNewsThe NorthSider

City Hall visitors must have temperatures taken

CITY HALL – Visitors to St. Louis City Hall are used to handing over their wallets, phones and keys before they pass through a metal detector. With the coronavirus, they have to take one more step.

Beginning Tuesday, security people also used a noninvasive method to take visitors’ temperatures, to ensure they didn’t have one sign of the coronavirus infection.

The security people pass a device over the forehead that takes a temperature when an infrared light touches the skin. It’s also called a temporal thermometer or temporal scanner.

“The protocol is that anyone who has a temperature higher than 100.4 needs to go back home and not be in City Hall,” Mayor Lyda Krewson said at a news conference Monday night.

“That applies to both employees and visitors to City Hall,” Krewson said. “It’s just one of the steps that we’re taking to make sure that we don’t have any exposure that we can avoid.”

Signs placed at entrances to City Hall on Monday say that no person with a temperature in excess of 100.4 will be allowed to enter.

They also say that people may not enter City Hall if they have traveled to a foreign country in the last 14 days, have had a close contact with someone who has traveled to a foreign country in the last 14 days or have been asked to self-quarantine by a doctor or health agency. 

A person with an unexplained fever or shortness of breath or has been diagnosed or had contact with someone with coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, also may not enter City Hall, the sign says. 

Jim Merkel Born and raised in the St. Louis area, Jim Merkel covered communities throughout the area from 1991 to 2013 for the old Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. He is the author of five books about the Gateway City published by Reedy Press. The latest is Growing Up St. Louis: Looking Back Through the Decades. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis with Miss Jenny the Cat. For more about Jim, visit

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