COVID-19 hospitalizations shifting from urban to rural areas in Missouri

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ST. LOUIS- The area hospitals that make up the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force say they are seeing more COVID patients from rural communities.

Dr. Alex Garza, the incident commander of the task force, says that is also reflective of what is being seen across the state.

He said one of the reason the rural areas are likely seeing an increase is because of a difference in mitigation strategies, such as mask mandates.

“That doesn’t mean it is safe for the areas where the numbers are going down to relax at all. There is a reason the numbers are lower in the city and county,” said Dr. Garza.

He shared data showing Calhoun, Bond, Clinton Counties in Illinois and Jefferson, Franklin, and St. Charles Counties in Missouri saw the largest week over week increases.

When it comes to ZIP Codes; Maryland Heights, Washington, and High Ridge had the biggest change in cases from last week.

Dr. Garza cautioned that in some of the more rural places like Calhoun County, it only takes a small number to lead to a big increase.

He also mentioned other parts of the state like Columbia, Jefferson City, and Joplin are seeing an increase in cases.

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