The nation’s health officials along with state and local officials are taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into our communities. Through collaboration and coordination with federal, state and local health departments and elected officials, Lake Saint Louis is taking steps to protect our residents and also our employees. I am writing to provide information of specific actions we are taking at this time but want everyone to know that we are faced with an evolving situation that may require other tactics.
We all must play a part to lessen the impact of this virus in our community and thereby reduce the health danger it poses to our older population and those with underlying health issues.
President Donald Trump has declared a State of Emergency for the United States March 13, 2020. The President advised no more than 10 people attend gatherings. St. Charles County stood up its Emergency Operations Center and activated the Incident Command System. The County’s Public Health Department is monitoring cases of individuals who may be exposed to COVID-19. As of March 16, 2020, the Health Department is monitoring 9 High Risk patients and 166 medium risk patients. There have been 8 tests that came back negative, 1 test is pending and no tests have been positive.
The Lake Saint Louis Police Department is coordinating with County Emergency Management by attending daily briefings and participating in conference calls with state officials. The Department has instituted a safety and response plan to limit potential exposures to officers and residents. Acquiring personal protective gear for police officers is a priority. The Chief and his command staff are monitoring and following county guidelines regarding public events and altering or cancelling those events as directed. They work closely with our chaplains program in order to plan for the future needs of the community. Officers will be scheduled for extra presence within our retail establishments that have high traffic due to increased demands for goods.
Our police department is prepared, equipped and ready to service the citizens. Chief DiGiuseppi said, “Our officers and staff stand with you during this difficult time. We need to guard against an environment of fear and panic, but remain vigilant and cautions”.
Other City Departments have prepared contingency plans to continue operations either at City Hall or away from the building working at home. Beginning March 18, 2020 City Hall’s lobby will be closed to the public but City employees will continue working at their desks. Our Information Technology Department has built a network system allowing all requests for service to be submitted through our website www.lakesaintlouis.com. Business licenses, building permits, construction inspections, code enforcement complaints, etc. can be submitted on line or by calling 636-625-1200. The Missouri Supreme Court issued an order postponing municipal court until Friday, April 3, 2020. The Court Administrator will continue to be available either by email or calling her.
In the event office staff has to vacate the building to be deep cleaned or is ordered to work from home, they can continue to serve our residents and customers. Beginning April 1, 2020 those senior residents qualifying for utility tax refunds who submitted a refund request last year can make a refund request this year. A letter was recently mailed to those seniors explaining how to make their request. There is a review process instituted to determine eligibility so seniors that did not apply last year will need to wait until later this year to make their application.
Many City boards and committee meetings will be suspended until a future date. The Planning Commission meeting and the Board of Aldermen meeting will be held by telephone conference. The public will be able to listen to these meetings by calling the phone number posted on the meeting announcements.
The coming months will be a challenge for us but we will get through it. It is very important that we follow the CDC guidelines to wash our hands, maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other whenever possible and avoid handshakes. The County Public Health Department updates their information frequently at www.sccmo.org/covid so please use it as a resource. The Missouri State COVID-10 Hotline is active and accepting calls at 877-435-8411.