St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force calls current trend ‘dangerous’

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ST. LOUIS – Halloween is tomorrow and Coronavirus concerns loom large over one of St. Louis’s most “social” holidays.

New numbers released by the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Friday were not good.

Dr. Alex Garza, Incident Commander for the task force, called the trend “alarming” and “dangerous.”

The task force reports 515 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the St. Louis region; 104 confirmed COVID-19 patients in intensive care, the highest number since May; 57 confirmed Covid-19 patients on ventilators.

The numbers are up across the board from a couple of days ago – and way up from the lowest numbers of the pandemic on June 27 when there were 212 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients in Missouri and Illinois hospitals in the St. Louis region.

The highest hospitalization number, 757, came in April. The highest 7-day average for new admissions, 59, also came in April. We tied that number Friday, Garza said.

His advice for Halloween was to follow the same rules we should be following now.   

Trick-or-treating should be OK, he said, but with social distancing, hand sanitizing, and face coverings, not costume masks, no large groups, and no Halloween parties.    

With hospitals reaching limits for COVID-19 patient loads and hospital workers already fatigued, Garza seemed to be low on hope Friday, and fearful that as we go through November, we could approach or surpass the worst numbers of the pandemic which came more than six months ago, in April.

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