St. Charles County Emergency Communications Professional Selected for Public Safety Trainer of…

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Brian Garms, Training and Quality Assurance Officer for the St. Charles County Emergency Communications Department, was selected for the 2020 Trainer of the Year Award by NICE Public Safety.

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Virtual Online Job Search Using LinkedIn

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Event date: October 8, 2020
Event Time: 02:30 PM – 04:00 PM
Description:
This workshop is for those new to LinkedIn or wanting to know how to get started. You will learn how to set up your LinkedIn account, the basics of networking as well as searching for jobs online using LinkedIn.

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Virtual Resume Tips

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Event date: October 6, 2020
Event Time: 09:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Description:
Learn the basics of putting together your professional resume. This virtual lecture-style workshop will teach you how to write your own winning resume. Bring a current resume if you have one.

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PD Launches Walk and Talk Program

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Meeting and getting to know the residents of the St. Charles Hills neighborhood – and having a little fun – was on the agenda for the St. Charles County Police Department’s first Walk and Talk in September.

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New Event, Wedding Venue to Open

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The wait is finally over! St. Charles County’s newest event venue, the Landhaus at The Park at New Melle Lakes, will be available to reserve beginning Monday, Oct. 5.

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Pet Foster Families Needed

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COVID-19 not only has had an effect on human lives, but on our four-legged friends as well. At the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center in St. Peters, making adjustments for the pandemic has resulted in some positive news.

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A Message from the County Executive: Comparing COVID-19 Data

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I  was a history teacher in a former life, and mathematics and statistics have never been my strong point. But I do know one thing about comparing data: you have to compare apples to apples. Most news outlets are not doing that when it comes to comparing the impact of COVID-19.

There are a lot of numbers to crunch – positive cases, deaths, ages, zip codes, and so on. One thing people seem to be leaving out of the equation when comparing COVID cases is the population of the jurisdiction within our region. A recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Sept. 14, 2020) reported a rise in COVID-19 cases by comparing the actual numbers of cases and indicated that total daily cases in St. Louis City were declining, while daily cases in outlying counties, including St. Charles County were increasing. It’s not that simple.

What we should all be looking at is the percentage of the population in any jurisdiction that has been infected: cases per capita. According to 2020 estimates based on United States Census data, St. Charles County has a population of 407,056; St. Louis City, 292,782; St. Louis County, 997,539; and St. Clair County, IL, 258,325. When the Post-Dispatch article ran, 1.64 percent of the St. Charles County population had been diagnosed with COVID-19; compared to 2.19 percent in St. Louis County; 2.30 percent in St. Louis City; and 2.56 percent in St. Clair County, Illinois. 

Because the number of people living in each jurisdiction isn’t the same, you aren’t comparing apples to apples if you compare number of cases across the board. St. Charles County has nearly 115,000 more residents than the City of St. Louis, and nearly 600,000 less than St. Louis County. We can also compare our percentages locally to state and national percentages. St. Charles County is doing far better than the nation as a whole, while St. Louis City and St. Louis County are higher. We are nearly identical to statewide percentages, while we are not doing as well as the more rural counties of Jefferson, Lincoln, Warren and Franklin counties. 

While every death is a tragedy, our county is fairing comparatively well with this pandemic. Our Department of Public Health employees have been working non-stop to keep up with the pace of investigating, contact tracing, testing, quarantining, isolating and educating. It’s a tremendous task and I am proud of their dedication and diligence. 

One of the ironies of the pandemic is that some in the media have been asking why the jurisdictions with the lowest percentage of cases – Franklin, Jefferson and St. Charles County – don’t adopt a mask mandate like the two jurisdictions – St. Louis City and St. Louis County – that have the highest. I have not questioned the need for such mandates where the cases are significantly higher than the state and national average.  

My other reason for reluctance to a mask mandate is the inability to enforce it. Our health department is overworked already with contact tracing. Our police have put in over 2,000 hours of overtime dealing with protests. We do not have the manpower to send someone down to the hardware store to cite someone for not wearing a mask. Secondly, when The New York Times published a map in July showing the percentage of people wearing a mask in our region, there was little correlation with whether a mandate was in place.  

Along with our Public Health Department experts, I continue to watch our data closely and continue to work hard to educate everyone on the benefits to others of wearing a mask. I appreciate and thank our residents, businesses and schools for encouraging the important, precautionary measures we have communicated: social distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands, and wearing a mask. I continue to have faith that we will keep our numbers down if we exercise these precautions and care about each other. 

St. Charles County Economy Remains Strong Despite Pandemic

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I think we could all use some good news in a year of bad news, so this month I’d like to share the latest about St. Charles County’s continued growth. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges and changes it presents, our economy remains strong.

The U.S. Census estimated population for the county is now over 400,000. St. Charles County continues to be Missouri’s fastest growing county by population growth.

St. Charles County is setting a 3-year record for single family housing permits, with O’Fallon, St. Charles and Wentzville in the lead. Multi-family housing unit numbers continue to remain strong. Additionally, 31 commercial building permits were issued as of August 2020, a 35 percent increase over August 2019.

Although unemployment spiked during the height of the pandemic, St. Charles County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area at 5.7 percent for August 2020. As you can see in the chart below, it is also below Missouri and the U.S. Amazon is officially the largest employer in St. Charles County, with 5,400 full-time employees at its St. Peters Fulfillment Center. FedEx recently opened its 491,000-square foot facility along the Highway 370 Logistics Corridor and plans to fill 1,200 jobs.

St. Charles County Parks have had record-breaking attendance in 2020, reaching 3 million visitors at the end of August, and in July topped the previous record high set last year at 2.5 million. Parks staff have continuously worked to provide safe, clean and open spaces to help residents feel relief from the pandemic.

St. Charles Community College opened its new agriculture and food science building in August after a $2.8 million renovation of the former gymnasium at their Dardenne Prairie campus. The building will house future programs in culinary arts, brewing science and nutrition, and will be used along with surrounding fields for crop research and development.

Several major mixed-use destination developments are underway around the community, including RiverPointe in St. Charles, Streets of Caledonia in O’Fallon, and Wentzville Bend in Wentzville.

For the fifth time, the City of St. Peters was named to Money Magazine’s 2020 List of Best Places to Live in America. It is ranked 13th in the nation and is the only Missouri city recognized this year.

And it looks like the good news is set to continue into next year: The EDC of St. Charles County is preparing for 2021 to be a major growth year with more residents moving here and continued business growth, especially in manufacturing and logistics.

I’d like to extend a special thank you to the EDC and the St. Charles County Community Development Department for providing the charts and information in this article.

Calling All Volunteers! St. Charles County Parks Seeks Trail Carvers

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Attention trail enthusiasts and anyone who wants to make a mark on a St. Charles County park! The Parks Department is looking for volunteers of all ages to assist with fall and winter Trail Work Days at three County parks. These volunteer events are

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Schwede Road

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Road reconstruction and realignment with some minor drainage improvements.

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St. Charles County’s Newest Event and Wedding Venue Opens for Tours, Reservations

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What is sure to be
St. Charles County’s most sought after scenic venue, the Landhaus at The Park at New Melle Lakes, is opening in October and waiting for your reservation! Whether you are a newly engaged couple looking for a wedding or reception venue,

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Learn How to Survive the Wild at St. Charles County Parks’ Bushcraft Challenge

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If you have a passion for the outdoors, are 16 years of age or older, and want to acquire the skills and knowledge to thrive in the natural environment, “Survive the Wild: Practical Application of Bushcraft” is the challenge for you! Join the St. Charles

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St. Charles County Highway Department Hosts Virtual Open House for Central School, St. Peters-…

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The St. Charles County Highway Department is hosting an Informational Virtual Open House on proposed intersection and traffic flow improvements at Central School and St. Peters-Howell roads.

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Mask Up Pick-Up

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Event date: September 19, 2020
Event Time: 09:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location:
1600 Mid Rivers Mall Drive
St. Peters, MO 63376
Description:
The next “Mask Up Pick-Up” drive-through event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19. Approximately 30,000 masks will be distributed at a drive-through station at Mid Rivers Mall, 1600 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters, in the parking lot that faces Suemandy Drive and is across from the St. Peters Justice Center. Residents are asked to remain in their vehicles while picking up their masks. Each resident will receive 10 free disposable masks which have been placed in bags by workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

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Free Drive-Through Flu Vaccinations

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Event date: October 7, 2020
Event Time: 11:59 AM – 07:00 PM
Location:
4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive
Cottleville, MO 63376
Description:
Vaccination is the most effective first step in building immunity against the influenza virus and in reducing the severity of illness in those who may become infected. Drive through our free flu vaccination clinic to protect children and adults from this highly contagious respiratory illness.

All who receive a vaccination and complete an event evaluation will be entered to win a Martian Car Wash prize package.

Appointments are not necessary, but groups of 6 or more who would like to attend should call 636-949-1857 for more information.

Assisting the Dept of Public Health with the event are BJC Health Care (Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Progress West Hospital), SSM Health (St. Joseph Hospitals in St. Charles, Lake Saint Louis and Wentzville), Compass Health, Cottleville Fire and Rescue, Cottleville/Weldon Spring Rotary Club, St. Charles Community College, St. Charles County Ambulance District and St. Charles County Parks.

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Free Flu Vaccination Clinic Oct. 7

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St. Charles County Public Health is joining with area organizations to distribute 800 flu vaccinations during a free, drive-through clinic at St. Charles Community College.

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County Parks Set Record Attendance While Maintaining Pandemic Safety

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Despite limiting program participants and postponing some events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Charles County Parks already has had a record year for attendance. The County’s 17 parks surpassed the 3 million mark at the end of August, and in July

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St. Charles County Parks Offers Chills and Thrills This Halloween Season

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Get spooked or enjoy some not-so-scary family-friendly fun with the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department this Halloween season. All ages are welcome to participate in spooktacular weekend events in St. Charles County Parks during the month

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Department of Public Health, Area Organizations to Provide Free Flu Shots Oct. 7

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To protect residents against influenza, the St. Charles County Dept of Public Health is joining with area organizations to distribute free flu vaccinations at a drive-through clinic on Oct. 7 at St. Charles Community College.

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Usher in Autumn at St. Charles County Parks’ Annual Fall Harvest Festival Oct. 10

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Fall is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate the new season than by bringing the family out for a day of crafts, historical demonstrations and outdoor festivities! Join the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department from 10 a.m

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COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing

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Event date: September 19, 2020
Event Time: 07:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Location:
202 Arena Parkway
St. Charles, MO 63303
Description:
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri National Guard will perform free drive-through PCR testing for COVID-19 from Sept. 17-19 at the Family Arena in St. Charles.

For the complete story from St. Charles County click the title at the top of this post or click on the post link (above).

COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing

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Event date: September 18, 2020
Event Time: 10:00 AM – 07:00 PM
Location:
202 Arena Parkway
St. Charles, MO 63303
Description:
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri National Guard will perform free drive-through PCR testing for COVID-19 from Sept. 17-19 at the Family Arena in St. Charles.

For the complete story from St. Charles County click the title at the top of this post or click on the post link (above).

COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing

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Event date: September 17, 2020
Event Time: 07:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Location:
202 Arena Parkway
St. Charles, MO 63303
Description:
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri National Guard will perform free drive-through PCR testing for COVID-19 from Sept. 17-19 at the Family Arena in St. Charles.

For the complete story from St. Charles County click the title at the top of this post or click on the post link (above).

Domestic Violence Board

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The Domestic Violence Board administers the distribution of voter approved fees to shelters for victims of domestic violence.

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Remembering 200 Years of Daniel Boone’s Life Sept. 26 – 27 At Boone Home

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The public is invited to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the death of Missouri legend, Daniel Boone, with the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department. To commemorate the life of this great American frontiersman, “Daniel Boone: A Bicentennial

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St. Charles County Experts Offer “Ticks: Don’t Get Sick” Sept. 12 At Broemmelsiek Park

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With more than 100 varieties of ticks in the United States and thousands of species in the world, preventing tick-borne illness is something everyone needs to be aware of. Don’t let ticks make you sick! Find out from St. Charles County Parks and Public

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Claybrook Sentenced to 25 years for Murder 2nd

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St. Charles County, Missouri- The Office of Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar announces that Robert A. Claybrook, 23, of Wentzville, MO was sentenced today to serve 25 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, following his plea of guilty to Murder 2

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Make Lasting Memories at One-Of-A-Kind Klondike Family Campout Sept. 26 – 27

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Bring the family out for a primitive campout like no other, Saturday, Sept. 26; and Sunday, Sept. 27, at beautiful Klondike Park, 4600 Highway 94 S. in Augusta. This camping adventure is packed with exciting activities the entire family will enjoy and is

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County Information Systems Seeks Public Feedback on GIS Beta Map

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The public is encouraged to provide feedback to St. Charles County Government on a beta, or test, version of a new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping Service that will greatly improve how users are able to access data and view imagery.

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St. Charles County Recorder of Deeds Expands Services to Offer Online Record Searches, Marriage…

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The St. Charles County Recorder of Deeds has acquired new software through Fidlar Technologies that enables residents to view documents in real time, run more customized searches and apply for a marriage license online.

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Explore Historic Missouri Through Living History Labor Day Weekend at Boone Home

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Spend this Labor Day weekend having fun with the family at The Historic Boone Home in Defiance! Guests of all ages are invited to explore historic Missouri through living history activities at St Charles County Park’s Labor Day on the Frontier

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Enjoy Historic Missouri Wine Country

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If you are looking for a fun day to venture out and enjoy the end of summer and beginning of fall, consider taking a road trip to Historic Missouri Wine Country in St. Charles County. From wineries to County parks, trails and historic sites, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The wine district in southwest St. Charles County is the oldest in the country and the fifth largest in the United States. In 1980, the federal government designated the first American Viticultural Area in Augusta. You don’t need to travel to Napa Valley to enjoy gorgeous vineyards and great wine! Late summer and fall are terrific times to visit, and most wineries have outdoor areas that allow for easy social distancing. Visit the St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau website for a list of wineries.

While you are taking in wine country, be sure to stop by our County parks in the area:

The Historic Daniel Boone Home in Defiance features affordable daily guided tours of the house for individuals and groups. It is free for visitors to walk the grounds and even enjoy a picnic lunch on the property. 
Not far from the Boone Home is Matson Hill Park. If you like a rugged hiking experience, this is the place to go. The park has become the area’s top hiking and biking destination, with 475 acres of heavily forested parkland with more than 8 miles of natural surface trails.
Klondike Park in Augusta has become a favorite destination for its scenic views and variety of amenities. The park features more than 5 miles of natural and paved trails, access to the Katy Trail, and boat access to the Missouri River. At the center of the former silica sand quarry is a beautiful fishing lake surrounded by a white sand shore. Visitors can hike to the top of the park’s bluff to get a spectacular view of the Missouri River. The park also is a prime camping destination, with campsites and cabins available to rent at a minimal cost.

These parks also have numerous events throughout the year. Visit the Parks website for more information.

I hope to see you in the beautiful rolling hills of Historic Missouri Wine Country!

A Message from the County Executive: COVID-19 Update

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COVID-19 cases continue to increase in our community, but downward trends in some of our statistics provide some positive news to share this month. It is still critical for residents to stay diligent with social distancing, avoiding large crowds, washing hands, and wearing masks to keep our community safe and control the pandemic now and into the fall and winter.

As of Aug. 24, the “Daily Total & 14-Day Moving Average” graph on the COVID-19 dashboard at sccmo.org/COVID shows a 3 percent decrease in confirmed cases, and an 86 percent decrease in deaths over the last 14 days. At 80 percent, the majority of deaths since the pandemic began are in long-term care facilities; the Department of Public Health continues to work with these facilities to help control outbreaks.

Below is a chart of COVID-19 cases by month and age from March through Aug. 24 on the COVID-19 dashboard. While cases for the 20-29 age group remains the highest, cases have dropped. Other age groups demonstrate drops in cases, as well.

St. Charles County is still faring well compared to St. Louis city and county, and even nationwide. Since March, our cases per capita were, and continue to be, lower than St. Louis city and county.

Additionally, for hospitalizations and ICU admissions, the graph below shows these numbers are starting to decrease after peaks in July and early August.

While these trends are positive, how residents are contracting the illness is still of concern. Household contacts, community contacts, and unknown sources as demonstrated by the chart below are the most common ways people in our county are contracting COVID-19. As of Aug. 24, 1,163 residents were in quarantine as a confirmed case or as a contact with a confirmed case. Residents need to follow the simple precautions I mentioned earlier – social distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands and wearing masks – to avoid bringing the illness home to their family and friends.

I hope that next month I can share more positive news and more dramatic drops in our statistics. As I said in last month’s blog, I believe it is the duty of government to educate the public about the importance of masks and other precautions – which we are. I am continuing to trust there will be voluntary compliance. Thank you to everyone who has and continues to follow our recommendations and precautions for the safety of their family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.