St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page asked the Department of Public Health to issue a travel advisory, as some workers return to their jobs after ignoring social distance practices outlined by public health experts to protect against COVID-19.
Recent news reports indicate that many people, including those from the St. Louis region, did not follow protective practices over the holiday weekend. Large crowds at Lake of the Ozarks showed no efforts to follow social distancing practices essential to curbing the spread of the virus, according to a statement from Page on Monday evening. As a result, many members of the public and employers have asked St. Louis County how to best proceed in safely opening their businesses when social distancing practices are not being followed, he stated.
“This reckless behavior endangers countless people and risks setting us back substantially from the progress we have made in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Page. “I encourage everyone to follow the Department of Public Health advisory to determine a safe path forward in the workplace.”
Current DPH guidance recommends that employers screen employees for health risks. Employers also should consider ask these question related to recent travels and social distancing behaviors:
• Were those you traveled with or spent time with while away from home within 6 feet of others during your trip? Being within 6 feet of others increases your chances of getting infected and infecting others.
• Do you live with someone who is more likely to become ill from COVID-19? If you get infected while traveling you can spread COVID-19 to loved ones when you return, even if you don’t have symptoms.
• Are you or those you were traveling with more likely to become ill from COVID- 19? Older adults and people of any age who have a serious underlying medical condition are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
• If you get sick with COVID-19, will you have to miss work? People with COVID-19 disease need to stay home until they are no longer considered infectious, for at least 14 days.