Hospital staff shortage and more COVID-19 may lead to more St. Louis County restrictions

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CLAYTON, Mo. – The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force shared an “ominous and frightening” report with County Executive Dr. Sam Page on Tuesday. They said that the United States is running out of doctors and nurses to treat more patients. This is also true at hospitals in the region.

St. Louis area hospitals may run out of capacity to treat all patients if something is not done to stop the spread of COVID-19. This means that everyone may be turned away from emergency rooms. There may be no staff available to treat patients suffering from anything from the flu, to broken bones, heart attacks, and COVID-19.

St. Louis County is in talks with the state of Missouri about opening more COVID-19 treatment facilities. But, there may not be enough healthcare workers to staff the new locations.

Page says that we are heading to a greater shutdown if the spread of the virus cannot be contained. He says that more extensive orders may be needed.

The COVID-19 positivity rate in the St. Louis region is above 20 percent. Contact tracing does not work of the positivity rate is above five percent. So, that is no longer an option to stop the virus.

Page says that while news of a COVID-19 vaccine is promising the distribution of it is months away. A vaccine will not help in the short term if hospitals run out of

Some St. Louis area restaurants are threatening lawsuits against St. Louis County to keep their businesses open. Page says that there is evidence that the virus is spreading at bars and restaurants. Public health experts are telling St. Louis County that activity needs to be limited there as well as other venues. He says that most restaurants and businesses are complying with the new health orders.

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