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STL COVID-19 Update

As the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 moves through the country, many communities throughout the country are facing significant disruptions to normal life in an effort to control the pandemic. St. Louis and the surrounding areas are starting to see some of these issues arise locally, including the shuttering of schools, restaurants, and other places where people congregate.

Know the Symptoms

The first step to keeping yourself safe and slowing the transmission rates of COVID-19 is to be aware of the symptoms. Once you are familiar with them, you can avoid people who are showing symptoms and self-isolate and seek treatment if you suspect that you may have contracted the virus. Here’s a helpful chart from the World Health Organization (WHO) to help you recognize COVID-19 and distinguish it from other common diseases:

How is the Pandemic Affecting the St. Louis Area?

While some communities in the United States have issued emergency orders closing schools and directing certain businesses to shut down, St. Louis has largely left it up to local businesses to decide whether they want to remain open. Of course, there have been the high-profile suspensions of the NHL, MLB, and XFL seasons, which will likely have a ripple effect throughout St. Louis’s sports-driven economy.

 

Many local businesses have decided to close their doors voluntarily as well. For example, noted restaurateur Gerard Craft has decided to close all 5 of his St. Louis-area restaurants, and the St. Louis Galleria has restricted its hours of operations. A more comprehensive list of closures as of March 17th can be found here.

 

Some school districts have decided to close for several weeks hoping that the pandemic will pass, but some observers believe that these closures will likely last the remainder of the academic year. Some public buildings have imposed restrictions on visitors, and St. Louis City Hall is currently screening visitors for fevers before allowing them to enter the building.

What’s Going to Happen Next?

Unfortunately, no one knows, and the only thing we can do is look at how other communities around the United States and the world have responded to the crisis. Using that logic, it’s possible and even likely that the St. Louis area will see mandatory closures and other measures designed to promote social distancing. In fact, some communities may even see mandatory “shelter in place” orders, which direct people to stay in their homes and away from others. Many experts are expecting the pandemic to peak in June, which means that people can expect disruptions until July or even later in the year. The CDC has made a list of ways you can prepare for the long-term disruptions that you may experience in the upcoming weeks, and you should keep up with local media on a daily basis to keep informed about this developing and fluid situation.

Call Us Today for Legal Help

As members of the St. Louis community, the lawyers of Bruntrager & Billings are committed to keeping you safe and informed about local developments. If you need to speak to an attorney about your legal need, call us today at 314-646-0066 or contact us online.

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