ST. LOUIS, Mo. – St Louis regional hospitalization totals over the past eleven days have shown a flattening of the Omicron Variant-fueled surge that led to drastic jumps in hospital admissions over the past two months. Total COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last week-and-a-half have hovered at a high point of 1,449 patients on January 17th to a low of 1,391 on the following day. Hospitalizations have held steady during this Omicron peak after jumping astronomically in December and early January. Since Thanksgiving, the region has witnessed a chaotic rise in hospitalizations from 318 patients on Thanksgiving, to 615 patients on Christmas, and now 1,403 patients in a report released today by the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force.
The silver lining in today’s report may be that the region is no longer seeing daily hospitalization increases like it had witnessed in late December and early January. Pandemic Task Force leaders hope the region is on the brink of a decline in hospitalizations, but caution against anyone disregarding mitigation efforts to curb the spread. The Task Force is made up of hospitals run by the SSM, BJC, Mercy and St. Luke’s Hospital systems. The numbers now also include hospitalizations reported by the St Louis VA Hospital.
The Task Force reported 194 new hospital admissions in today’s numbers, framed against 223 patients who were discharged. The group also reported 14 new COVID deaths. Discharges have also outpaced admissions over the past week, with 1,418 new patients entering the hospital as 1,473 patients were released. That bodes well for the region and signals a decline in hospitalizations over the course of a full week.
Fifty-five pediatric patients are now hospitalized in the region with 11 of those children receiving ICU care. Adult patients in ICU units now total 209 patients, with 121 people still needing ventilator care in order to breathe.
As the hospitalizations have surged under Omicron, so have the number of breakthrough cases sending vaccinated people to seek care. Today, the Task Force reports 39 percent of all hospitalizations involve patients who have had two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, Task Force officials point out that people who have also received the vaccine booster represent a very small percentage of our current hospitalizations.