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March 3, 2021
St. Louis County COVID-19 Update
County Long-Term Care Facilities Show Continued Improvement
Data from 144 of Saint Louis County’s long-term care facilities show continued progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19. These facilities reported 134 new infections in February, with the rate of new infections falling each month since November.
Saint Louis County DPH is working with the State Section for Long Term Care Regulations, which licenses these facilities, and the Saint Louis County High Risk Task Force to implement protective measures in these settings, including supplying PPE and conducting testing. Perhaps most promising is the vaccination effort underway. Residents and staff are in the top priority tier to receive the vaccine, and many facilities have already carried out mass vaccinations.
Until vaccination is complete and community spread of COVID-19 is controlled, the residents at long-term care facilities (which include nursing homes, assisted living, and other congregate care settings) remain among the most vulnerable to the disease, accounting for a disproportionate percentage of infections and deaths in the county.
The full February report can be found at https://stlcorona.com/resources/covid-19-statistics/archived-covid-19-reports/archived-ltc-facilities-reports/covid-19-lt-care-02-2021/.
Digital and Media Relations
Saint Louis County Department of Public Health
(314) 615-5090 (Office)
COVID-19 Office Protocol
We are continuing to monitor and plan for multiple contingencies relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak. The current reports on the coronavirus show a very fluid situation. We are reaching out today to ensure you that we monitoring this evolving situation. Our internal team is meeting regularly to ensure that we are taking appropriate precautions and preparing protocols in case the virus affects any of our communities.
This update is intended to give you guidance on what you can do individually to help prevent the spread of the virus. It is also to provide information to office planning as we look to balance the need to serve our clients and our responsibility to the community.
While there are no known cases of COVID-19 within the St. Louis County Government Offices, that could change. If you are sick, have a fever or other symptoms, please contact your doctor or local health organization and get tested. If you or anyone in your household are showing any symptoms, you must self-quarantine yourself for 14 days. If possible, we will provide resources for you to work from home during the quarantine period. Please contact Chelsea if you have questions about your individual situation.
Planning for Remote Work and Office Closures
If someone in our office tests positive for COVID-19, or is showing symptoms consistent with the virus, we will follow the guidance from state and local health agencies, and direct a partial or full office plan to work remotely for at least 14 days. In the event this happens, we will provide detailed instructions and equipment where needed to ensure that work can continue during the quarantine period. We will also do an intensive cleaning of the office during the quarantine period.
We know this is a stressful situation and uncertainty only heightens that stress. We have a plan to ensure we are doing all we can to limit the impact of this situation while, at the same time, ensuring that we can continue to keep the community safe.
At this time the CDC reminds us that the best preventative steps to help avoid the coronavirus and other flu and cold viruses, include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine:
Please continue to do the following:
Stay home when you are sick.
Practice good respiratory etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Use tissues and dispose of them immediately. Use hand sanitizers afterwards.
Avoid people who are sick, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Clean and disinfect your areas frequently.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Eliminate non-essential travel (business and personal). For essential travel, research the CDC Travel Guidelines. Current advisories include China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Venezuela and Hong Kong and the European Union.
COVID-19 has more significant impact to certain groups, including the elderly and those with underlying conditions (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html). If you are in this group, please take additional precautions by closely following the prevention guidance.
You will find additional travel information attached to this document. Thank you for your individual prevention and containment efforts. We will get through this together.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney
While this office continues to recommend that you reconsider all non-essential business and personal travel, we wanted to make you aware of the following important updates on travel.
Until further notice, anyone returning from a cruise will be required to work remotely for 14 additional calendar days before returning to work inside the office. Please communicate with your supervisor in advance of departing on a cruise. We understand that some positions don’t have a work from home component, and we will assist supervisors with these situations on a case by case basis, and will also assist with any questions regarding PTO in these situations.
This same protocol is in effect for anyone traveling to, and returning home from, any of the countries on the CDC’s Level 2 List (Japan) and Level 3 List (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea).
Finally, large gatherings that include travel in the next 60 days should be done via video technology, or cancelled and rescheduled if video technology will not suffice.
In addition, the CDC has some updated recommendations on cruise travel:
The CDC recommends travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel at this time. Cruise ship passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships.
Please check out the following link for more information on CDC TRAVEL ADVICE.
Thank you for your continued attention to these updates and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have.