COVID testing ramps up in St. Louis area ahead of holidays

Missouri

DES PERES, Mo. – Appointments are filling up at COVID-19 testing sites across the St. Louis region as hospitalizations related to the virus spike ahead of the holidays.

Just over the last two weeks, COVID testing has nearly quadrupled at the ENT Now clinic, with a 93% increase from Monday to Tuesday.

“It’s definitely been hectic,” said Kristen Wilbur, a nurse practitioner at ENT Now. “More tests, more transmission going around, more people then concerned, more people then go and get tested. So yeah, it just kind of spirals.”

While the clinic is dealing with an influx of appointments, Wilbur is still encouraging everyone to get tested before gathering with loved ones over the holidays.

“Test before you go, have some reassurance,” she said. “The scary thing is we’re having all these increases in numbers and then we’re going to see grandma, we’re going to have these family gatherings.”

Alec Harris, a Chesterfield resident, said he made sure to get tested for this very reason.

“We’ve got family coming in here for the holidays, and I haven’t seen some of my family members in a very long time,” he said. “So, we just thought it would be the proper thing to do to get everybody tested.”

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force said COVID-related hospitalizations in the area doubled overnight. According to the task force, 118 more people have been hospitalized. It’s the largest single-day influx of patients hospitalized in nearly a year.

Task-force hospitals reported that 131 patients currently are occupying ICU units, and 77 patients require ventilator care to breathe.

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