By Dan Zarlenga
Courtesy of MDC
St. CHARLES, Mo.—The incidence of COVID-19 cases has seen a significant rise in recent weeks, prompting the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to close its St. Louis Regional Office on the August A Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles to the public. The regional office closure is effective immediately until further notice.
All outdoor spaces and fishing lakes on the conservation area remain open. The All In Bait & Tackle Shop, operated by an independent vendor, will also remain open. Visitors are reminded to observe social distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines when on the area.
According to the St. Charles County online COVID-19 dashboard (https://www.sccmo.org/2105/COVID-19), the incidence of confirmed cases from the disease in the last 14 days has risen by 182%, as of July 24.
“The MDC St. Louis regional leadership team carefully weighed the public services our regional office was providing with the public health risks of the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in St. Charles County,” said MDC St. Louis Regional Administrator Julianne Stone. “We made the difficult decision to reclose the office after determining it was the best course of action to protect the health of our visitors and staff.”
Stone added that her leadership staff is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and that should there be other changes in the COVID outlook for St. Charles County or elsewhere in the region, MDC will be prepared to respond appropriately.
All other MDC public facilities will remain open, including Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood, the Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in High Ridge, and the August A. Busch Shooting Range and outdoor Education Center in Defiance.
MDC will adhere to all local ordinances and guidelines regarding COVID-19 at every facility, and it strongly encourages visitors to wear face coverings at its locations. Any local ordinances mandating wearing of face coverings will also be observed.