This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

O’FALLON, Mo. — COVID-19 cases are rising sharply again across Missouri, prompting renewed concerns about overcrowding at hospitals and long waits for emergency services and hospital beds.

Data posted on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard on Tuesday showed 1,637 people hospitalized with the virus. By comparison, 951 were hospitalized a month ago. The number of intensive care unit patients has risen to 338, up from 228 on Nov. 5. In-patient bed capacity is at 15% in the St. Louis region, 18% in Kansas City and just 12% in northwestern Missouri.

Experts say the numbers will get worse once the omicron variant takes hold.