‘I’m scared again,’ St. Louis doctors, leaders concerned about increase of COVID cases


ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis region is dealing with another wave of coronavirus cases.

“It seems like a roller coaster to be honest,” Dr. Muhammad Malik with SSM Health St. Joseph – Lake St. Louis said.

St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page said cases in St. Louis County are up nearly 65 percent and he is concerned. 

“We’re certainly all disappointed to be facing another wave of the pandemic,” he said.

Doctors Page and Malik are urging every person to get the coronavirus vaccine to combat the surge.

“This vaccine gave us hope, we were open again, but now I’m scared again,” Dr. Malik said. “To eradicate this, to stop this, get vaccinated.”

Dr. Malik said the recent wave is because of the more contagious Delta variant, coupled with a rise of cases likely from the Fourth of July festivities. 

The St. Louis Metro Pandemic Task Force is reporting hospital capacity is at a 92 percent average and ICUs are at 81 percent. Nearly every number the task force tracks are increasing. 

The data for July 14, 2021, is as follows, according to the St. Louis Metro Pandemic Task Force:  

  • New hospital admissions (data lagged two days) increased – from 32 yesterday to 42 today.
  • The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions (data lagged two days) increased – from 38 yesterday to 39 today.
  • The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations increased – from 213 yesterday to 222 today.
  • Inpatient confirmed COVID positive hospitalizations increased – from 233 yesterday to 242 today.
  • Inpatient suspected COVID positive hospitalizations decreased – from 31 yesterday to 23 today.
  • The number of confirmed COVID positive patients in the ICUs increased – from 79 yesterday to 82 today.
  • The number of confirmed COVID positive patients on ventilators increased from 42 yesterday to 45 today.
  • The number of COVID deaths decreased– from 5 yesterday to 4 today.
  • The seven-day moving average of COVID deaths increased – from 2 yesterday to 3 today.
  • Across the system hospitals, 31 patients have been discharged, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 23,446.

A total of 13 people have died from COVID in the last three days. The number of deaths has not been that high in a 3-day span since the beginning of April. 

Fox 2’s Zara Barker asked Dr. Page if he foresees any restrictions coming back.

“Well I hope not, we are watching the cases grow, currently our hospitals are able to manage,” he said.

But, not every hospital in the Show-Me State is able to manage its current caseload. 

“Hospitals in Southwest Missouri are overwhelmed, and they are starting to send their patients to Kansas City and St. Louis,” Dr. Page said. 

St. Louis County authorities issued another COVID-19 public health advisory Tuesday. 

The advisory said COVID cases in St. Louis County are increasing at an alarming rate as the dangerous delta variant expands.  

The advisory said people should wear masks in indoor public places regardless of vaccination status.

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