COVID hospitalizations double overnight in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS – For the first time since the heat of summer, the St Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force is reporting more than 100 people have been admitted to area hospitals in a single day for COVID-19 treatment. The number is a red flag to a depleted medical community already struggling to keep up with the winter surge that has sent more than 1,400 people to hospitals in December alone. With 118 admissions, it’s the largest single-day influx of patients to hospitals in nearly a year. 

The staggering number of new COVID patients is mirrored by another jump in deaths, with the task force reporting 12 new deaths of patients succumbing to the virus as they received critical medical care. 

As the winter surge has strapped the abilities of some hospitals to treat the ill, the task force says 167 patients have died from COVID in December alone.  In fact—with just a little over a week left in 2021—the task force says COVID is responsible for 2,032 deaths in area hospitals this calendar year.  

The 118 new admissions are the highest single-day influx since 118 patients sought care on Jan. 13, 2021. It also ties the 2021 mark for highest single-day total of hospital admissions. It’s only the tenth time this year that hospital admissions exceeded 100 patients in a single day. The previous day, only 60 patients were admitted in the St. Louis region.  

In December, the task force now reports 1,451 total admissions.  In that same span, only 1,299 patients were discharged. The task force hospitals—comprised of BJC, SSM, Mercy, and St. Luke’s health systems—now report 88% of their available beds are filled and 81% of ICU beds are filled with COVID patients.  

Task force hospitals now report their highest tally of ICU patients since late August, with 131 patients occupying ICU units and 77 patients requiring ventilator care in order to breathe. 

Pediatric cases have also jumped again, with five more patients reported in the last 24 hours of task force reporting. There are now 16 pediatric patients hospitalized for COVID and six of those patients are in ICU units receiving critical care. That means 37% of all pediatric COVID patients are now in ICU beds. 

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