Pandemic Task Force says 2021 will see better handling of COVID-19


ST. LOUIS – Following six days of declining numbers, the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force reports an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations Monday.

New hospital admissions of COVID patients in the St. Louis area jumped from 82 Sunday to 107 today. Despite the increase, Dr. Alex Garza, the commander of the pandemic task force had a reason to be hopeful.

Garza says the advancement of vaccinations and better treatment are very positive signs.

COVID has killed one in every thousand Americans. Hospital capacity in St. Louis-area hospitals is at 82 percent. But Dr. Garza says the new year brings a new opportunity to turn the corner on controlling the pandemic.

“Now, I firmly believe that 2021 will eventually better than 2020 in many ways,” he said. “We know that vaccinations will happen and we know that COVID therapies will continue to improve and I think that more people will see that masks and social distancing are the most immediate and effective ways that we have to prevent the spread of the virus until we get to mass vaccination.”

Garza says improvements in 2021 are not going to happen right away. He says the next two months will likely be difficult in dealing with the virus.

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