The spread of the new coronavirus is continuing to affect daily life throughout the St. Louis area.
Missouri now has 90 people who have tested positive for COVID-19; there were 34 cases on Thursday, 73 on Friday. Illinois has 753 cases, up from 585 on Friday.
Starting Monday, St. Louis city and St. Louis County will be under "stay at home" orders, joining the statewide order for Illinois that begins at 5 p.m. Saturday. Metro is reducing MetroLink and bus service to weekend schedules during the week because of reduced ridership. And unemployment arrived suddenly for thousands of hourly workers. They can't work from home, because there is no work. These are among Saturday's developments.
9:10 p.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri confirmed 90 cases as of Saturday night, 17 more than it reported on Friday. The figures include 22 in St. Louis County, five more than the county reported. Read more.
8:22 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — SSM Health announced it will ban visitors from its hospitals in the St. Louis area, beginning Monday, with some exceptions for pediatric patients, women giving birth, and “end-of-life” situations. Many of the hospitals started restricting visitors Saturday. Read more.
7:00 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — St. Louis and St. Louis County officials updated COVID-19 case counts on Saturday, with the city announcing three more, for 10 total, and the county adding eight, bringing its total to 17. Read more.
4:00 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — Mayor Lyda Krewson detailed the city’s stay-at-home order, which is similar to St. Louis County’s but doesn’t take effect until 6 p.m. Monday, 18 hours after the county's. As in the county, city residents are ordered to stay home except for performing “essential” household tasks, which include grocery shopping, outdoor exercise, providing care for relatives, and going to the doctor or veterinarian. Read more.
3:00 p.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Governor Mike Parson on Saturday announced his expected statewide social distancing order, prohibiting gatherings of no more than 10 people, effective just after midnight on Monday morning. He also closed schools and said he would loosen state regulations to expand daycare capacity and automatically renew some state licenses, such as drivers licenses and vehicle registrations. Read more.
3:00 p.m. — CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called on former health care workers to "come back and join the fight against COVID-19," promising to waive fees and expedite licensures so they can start right away. Illinois officials also announced one additional coronavirus death in the state, a man in his 70s from Cook County, and 168 new reports of the virus. State totals have now hit 6 deaths and 753 cases. Read more.
2:30 p.m. — CLAYTON — St. Louis County's stay-at-home order lasts for at least 30 days starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, County Executive Sam Page said in a conference call on Saturday. Only those who work at "essential businesses," such as first responders, health care providers, utilities, grocers, and take-out restaurants, can report to work. Read more.
12 p.m — ST. LOUIS — There are 10,000 hospital beds in the St. Louis region, and that could be enough for the tidal wave of sick about to arrive — under certain scenarios. If they contract the coronavirus at slower rates, if hospitals clear out enough patients, if the pandemic stretches out over a year or more. But if not, hospitals will be overwhelmed. Not just with not enough beds: not enough ventilators, supplies and staffing. Read more.
11:30 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced mandatory stay-at-home orders beginning Monday. Residents will still be allowed to go to grocery stores, pharmacies and public parks, but no other details were immediately available. Read more.
11:15 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — Starting Monday, Metro Transit will reduce bus and train service by shifting to a weekend schedule during weekdays. The public transit agency announced train service would run its weekend schedule every day, and buses would run Saturday schedules. Read more.
11 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — As the pandemic news becomes more serious, the streets of St. Louis and its neighbors are looking quieter. Photographer Robert Cohen has documented what he has seen. Read more.
10 a.m. — ST. LOUIS COUNTY — The 21st Circuit Court (St. Louis County) has issued an order halting sheriff's deputies from carrying out evictions, seizing assets and executing other court orders that would require close human contact. Read the order.
9:15 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — The coronavirus seems to strike adults, and is fatal mainly to older adults — especially those with preexisting conditions. Like Bill McClellan. As he writes: "My survival depends partly on you, and the choices you make. No offense, but that does not inspire confidence." Read more.
8 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — For thousands of service workers in St. Louis, and millions around the country, there is no 'working from home. There's just no more work. And it happened fast for people like Monica Hendrix, a waitress at a Red Robin in Chesterfield, and many more like her. Read more.
7:30 a.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — People in Missouri who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic are getting some guidance on how to file for unemployment benefits. The state added a COVID-19 question and answer section to its website this week. Read more.
9:05 p.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri reported there were 73 cases of coronavirus in the state as of Friday night. The number Thursday was 34.
7:30 p.m. — ST. CHARLES COUNTY — St. Charles County has its second case of COVID-19, the Public Health Department said in a news release. A woman in her 50s tested positive after traveling in Illinois and being in brief contact with someone there who later tested positive.
6:45 p.m. — CLAYTON — St. Louis County officials announced that a woman in her 60s had died at a hospital of COVID-19 Friday. The woman had underlying health conditions, the officials said. This was the first death from the virus in the county and the third for the state of Missouri.
6 p.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — Leaders of the Missouri House announced that a member of the House had tested positive for the new coronavirus. Multiple sources identified the member as Joe Runions, D-Grandview. Officials were working to contact members who had contact with Runions.
5:20 p.m. — ST. LOUIS COUNTY — Mercy announced Friday that it will open COVID-19 testing sites in south St. Louis County, Washington and Hillsboro.
3:30 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — The 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis issued an order suspending civil process service including civil summonses, subpoenas in criminal cases, extraditions and evictions through April 19.
3 p.m. — CHICAGO — The Illinois governor ordered a lockdown for residents starting at 5 p.m. Saturday and lasting through April 7. Gov. J. B. Pritzker said if he had to choose between saving "lives or livelihoods," the choice was clear. Read more.
2:30 p.m — JEFFERSON CITY — For the second time, part of the Harry S Truman State Office Building near the Capitol has been closed after a person in the office tested positive for COVID-19, state officials said Friday. The roughly 3,000 workers in the building were told the suite has been cleaned, but employees were either on leave or working remotely. Read more.
2:30 p.m. — ST. LOUIS — Social distancing is good, but you almost certainly need to clean your phone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists phones, keyboards and tablets as "high-touch" surfaces that should be cleaned every day. Read more.
1:45 p.m. — CLAYTON — St. Louis County introduced a text message service Friday for alerts with new information about the coronavirus. Read more.
1:30 p.m. — KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Officials in Jackson County near Kansas City on Friday reported what is at least the second Missouri COVID-19 death. The patient was a woman in her 80s who had not recently traveled, Jackson County Health Director Bridgette Shaffer said at a news conference. Read more.
11:15 a.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — Some private operators of Missouri driver license offices are shutting down as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, but the state is leaving it up to the private operators. That mirrors Gov. Mike Parson's approach to not order schools and businesses to close as the disease has spread. Read more.
9:34 a.m. — WASHINGTON — The income tax filing date has been pushed back from April 15 to July 15. The secretary of the treasury announced the decision in a tweet on Friday. Read more.
9:30 a.m. — JEFFERSON CITY — Pitch your tent or park your RV in Missouri. Unlike California, Illinois and North Carolina, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is keeping state parks open. But there are some changes taking effect on Friday. Read more.
8:30 a.m. — FREEBURG — The date night featured a small music venue, a cold beer and the frontman of a favorite band singing his heart out. But the venue was a laptop in my living room, and the frontman, B.J. Barham of American Aquarium, was playing from his living room in North Carolina for an audience who spent $15 for 45 minutes of near-normal. Read more.
7:30 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — Private labs, hospitals and universities are now allowed to test samples for the coronavirus, so the number of tests are increasing. But most sick people still can't get tested. Why? National shortages of testing supplies have lead to strict rules on who qualifies for a test. Read more.
5 a.m. — ST. LOUIS — Sportscasters are paid to talk about sports, so what do they do when there are no sports to talk about? For St. Louis broadcaster Frank Cusomano, it's a challenge. Read more.
OVERNIGHT — BRIDGETON — A regional airline in Bridgeton will shut down in April because of decreased revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The CEO of Compass Airlines sent a letter to workers Thursday that said the airline would cease operations. Read more.
How is the situation affecting you?
If you have a story about trying to get tested, quarantine or the way the coronavirus is effecting your daily life or planned events, we want to hear from you. You can send a news tip to the Post-Dispatch here.