ST. LOUIS- The population of patients at St. Louis area hospitals has shifted and now they are primarily younger.
Dr. Alex Garza with the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force says at the beginning of the pandemic more than 50% of the patients were from nursing homes. He said that number is now about 4%.
He also explained there are fewer patients in the ICU and on ventilators because there are fewer elderly patients. He also credited to better treatments than at the beginning of the pandemic. Some of those include high-flow oxygenation and steroids that keep people off of ventilators.
However, Dr. Garza warned children and younger patients can still get sick. He said the area is still seeing a significant number of hospitalizations that weren’t there before because of the spread that is currently happening in the community.
This comes as St. Louis County reports 332 new cases. The county also released a report looking at the overall trends of cases and deaths including:
- New COVID-19 cases increased 102% in St. Louis County between 7/2 – 715
- Hospitalizations at task force hospitals increased 73% between 7/2 – 7/15
- COVID-19 deaths decreased 19% between 7/2 – 7/15
- Increase of 204%reported in diagnoses among those ages 10-19 between 7/2 – 7/15
The task force’s latest report says there were 46 new hospital admissions. Dr. Garza says they haven’t seen a number that high in a few months.
The 7-day average is 39 new daily hospital admissions, but when it gets over 40-a-day, Dr. Garza says that is when things need to be reassessed. He said that is possible if the new daily hospitalizations stay above 40 for a few days.
There were also 41 more patients discharged from the hospital. Dr. Garza said that number is also large because of the number of patients in the hospital.
Dr. Garza also discussed the Midwest seeing an increase of cases as compared to other parts of the country. He said while that is true, places like St. Louis County are trying to limit the size of crowds, closing bars early, and enforcing mask wearing in an attempt to slow the increase.
Dr. Garza maintained the best thing the area can do to stop the spread is wear masks and practice good social distancing.