St. Louis area showing signs of interrupting COVID-19 transmission


ST. LOUIS – It appears people have listened and the numbers of COVID-19 cases are coming down in the St. Louis area. The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force says the region may have interrupted transmission.

The task force wants people to know it is not the time to let up, but they have renewed optimism and say the sacrifices people have made appear to be paying off.

“I talk with the doctors and the nurses and the therapists and the techs, who are all literally putting their lives on the line to care for patients,” said Dr. Alex Garza, head of the pandemic task force.

The data the task force released Thursday shows both new hospital admissions and the 7-day average of admissions have declined.

However, members of the task force and health professionals are still waiting to see what the impact of Thanksgiving will be and if there will be a spike in cases.

“Every one of our updates is likely to be more critical than the last, as we are anticipating a surge during the last few weeks of this year,” Garza said.

In confirmed COVID positive hospitalizations, there was a decrease from 934 Wednesday to 900 Thursday. Also, the number of confirmed positive patients in ICUs dropped 10; from 196 yesterday to 186 today.

While the numbers are slowly coming down, just two months ago, area hospitals had 246 COVID positive patients in the hospital.

For patients who tested positive on ventilators, a slight change; the number is 125 Thursday compared to 128 on Wednesday. Garza says it’s important to keep talking about these numbers because of people affected by COVID, whether it’s a patient or a health care worker.

The data does show that the hospital is discharging more COVID patients than it admitted in the last week. There were 771 admissions in the last 7 days and 833 discharges.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 11,259 COVID patients released from hospitals in the St. Louis region.

“They want us to keep talking about COVID in hopes that people will adjust their behavior,” Garza said. “They want us to talk about this in the hopes that elected officials will make policy decisions that we know will slow the surge.”

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