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LAKE ST. LOUIS, Mo. – SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital – Lake St. Louis reports a recent increase in the number of COVID-19 patients.  

A few months ago, the hospital went several days without any COVID-19 patients. In the past few months, the hospital averaged three COVID-19 patients per day. 

The hospital reported 12 patients tested positive for COVID-19 Monday.   

“We have seen more cases and people are very sick,” said Danielle Stone, a registered nurse with SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital – Lake St. Louis. “It’s hard to watch.” 

An increase in cases throughout the St. Louis area has triggered a call from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force to strongly encourage everyone to wear a mask in public, whether they are vaccinated or not.  

“Be aware that COVID is still here,” said Laurie Wegman, a registered nurse with SSM Health St. Joseph – Lake St. Louis. “I know a lot of people have said it’s over.” 

She and Stone worry about what will happen if the numbers continue to increase. Some patient care is already being affected. 

“We have patients that are waiting a long time for beds just because the volume is a lot higher than it has been,” Wegman said.   

Stone recalls how difficult it was during the peak of the pandemic when family members had to be told they could not visit their loved ones.   

“That was really hard when we had to have our patients not be able to see their family,” Stone said. 

Stone and Egman encourage everyone to do what they can to slow down the spread of the Delta variant, a more contagious strain of the virus that continues to spread.

“The vaccine is here, our answer is here for trying to prevent COVID from getting worse,” Wegman said. “If you’re able to, please get vaccinated.” 

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