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ST. LOUIS – The latest data from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force show noticeable recent increases in COVID hospitalizations.

Those concerning trends come into focus when comparing the latest numbers with figures from a little more than a week ago.

The latest pandemic task force data released Thursday reported 54 new COVID patients admitted to hospitals. That’s eight more than Wednesday. The seven-day average of hospital admissions is at 51. The task force wants that number below 40. Overall COVID hospitalizations are now at 431. That’s a 36 percent increase or 113 additional hospitalized COVID patients in just the past eight days. That many people haven’t been hospitalized with COVID since late September.

The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations is at 363. Ten days ago, that average was substantially lower at 262. There are now 91 COVID patients in ICUs. That’s nine more than on Wednesday and an increase of 30 patients requiring ICU care in just eight days. There haven’t been this many COVID patients in ICUs since October 19.

15 COVID patients under 18 years old are hospitalized Friday morning. That is the second consecutive day of double-digit pediatric patients and the most patients under 18 who have been hospitalized in nearly a month.

Sadly, 6 more COVID-related deaths were reported in Thursday’s numbers. The pandemic task force says 37 people have died from COVID in task force hospitals in just the last week.