ST. LOUIS – A federal medical team arrives in St. Louis Wednesday to help an understaffed hospital in north St. Louis County. This comes as the latest numbers from the pandemic task force show covid case count dropping.

There are a total of 44 people in the group arriving to help at Christian Hospital off Route 367 near 270. The team includes doctors, nurses, and therapists. The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force asked for the federal assistance.

Hospitals like Christian have been hit hard with staffing shortages during the pandemic. As that team gears up to help, the latest COVID numbers from the pandemic task force continue to head in the right direction. Total COVID hospitalizations now stand at 1,241. That’s down by more than 200 patients from the record high set just one week ago when there were 1,449 COVID patients in hospitals. The latest data from the task force reported 118 new COVID admissions to its hospitals. That’s the lowest single-day total in nearly one month. There were 12 more COVID deaths reported in Tuesday’s numbers. That is half the number of deaths reported on Monday.

“Those are encouraging signs, but we also know that we’re not out of the woods yet and this is really no time to relax. On average, we have about 18 people passing away from the virus within our hospitals. With that pace, we’re on a considerable slope to have a lot of deaths from this latest COVID surge,” head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Dr. Alex Garza said.

At his COVID briefing Wednesday morning, St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page is expected to continue to urge people to get tested if they have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone with COVID. The county has four testing sites. Page’s chief spokesperson Doug Moore said there has been a high demand for at-home COVID tests since they started being offered on Monday at two county library sites. Moore said 1,800 people called in the first hour to reserve tests.

Page’s COVID briefing begins at 8:30 a.m. FOX 2 will have live coverage of it on-air and online.