Health officials concerned over St. Louis COVID-19 hospitalization increase

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ST. LOUIS – The rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the weekend is concerning health officials who warn that if the pattern continues more restrictions are not off the table. 

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force reported 56 new hospital admissions for COVID-19 Saturday, pushing the seven-day average to 41 as the number of confirmed cases also continues to rise.

“Most of our metrics are moving in the wrong direction,” Dr. Alex Garza said on Friday. That was even before Saturday’s steady climb. He said, “in fact, we haven’t seen a number this high for a couple months.” 

He says health officials and government leaders knew that when the weekly average of hospital admissions hit 40 they’d have to make other adjustments.

St. Louis County just rolled out new restrictions on Friday, but it will take at least a couple of weeks to see the impact. Dr. Garza said one community alone cannot combat this; every person at every age needs to take part in it. 
He says, “I think there’s a misconception out there that the younger people will do OK with the virus and by and large they do. But we’re seeing such a large increase in cases that we’re going to see more people being hospitalized in the younger age bracket that we didn’t see before.”

Dr. Garza says they are seeing a lower number of ICU cases as of right now. He attributes that to the age distribution among patients, a lower number of nursing home admissions, along with earlier and better treatment of symptoms. 

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