St Louis County

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St. Louis County's announcement Tuesday that 15 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported was surprising for a lot of reasons.

For one thing, it was one of the first times the new cases weren't connected to an outbreak in a congregate living facility, like longterm care.

For another, nine of the 15 cases involved people under 30.

Now begins the work of "contact tracing."  It's too early to have exact information but it seems that travel out of Minnesota may have played a part.

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The good news is that a second round of PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) funding for small businesses opened Monday.

The bad news is that some of the same problems - like an overloaded system - are still being experienced.

Some more good news is that St. Louis County announced this morning it's been allocated over $2 million dollars in special allocations from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and if there's a little bad news mixed in, like uncertainty about how the money needs to be spent ... well, let's just focus on the good news for a little.

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If you suffer from a mental illness like anxiety or depression, chances are you have several tools in your toolbox to help you cope and get back to a healthier state of mind.

But what if you've been fine your whole life - until now - and you're wondering why the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic are turning you into someone you don't recognize?

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Many people don't have a lot of sympathy for an addict going through withdrawal in a jail cell.

Detoxing from opiods is so awful many addicts would rather keep using, but multiple studies on unsupervised detox (mainly in prison) indicates it's not just uncomfortable, it can be fatal.

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St Louis County Judge Shaun Floerke thinks "treatment court" is much better description than "drug court."

Whatever you call it, it keeps the public safer, has a much better outcome for the drug offender and realizes a huge cost savings for everyone.

But can a new approach to drug crimes fly in the "land of 10,000 bootstraps," where if you're an addict, for instance, you need to "just stop it"?

Floerke says if punishment - or negative consequences cured addiction, there wouldn't be a problem.  But it doesn't -- and there is.