ST. LOUIS – A troubling development this morning in the local fight against COVID-19.
After generally declining for some time, COVID case numbers in St. Louis County are on the rise with a noticeable uptick in the past week.
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page calling the COVID case uptick a “concerning increase” and warning that this could be a sign of more challenging COVID times ahead.
Page made the comments during a COVID briefing this morning at the main county administration building in Clayton.
Page says St. Louis County is now averaging 189 new COVID cases per day.
That’s a 30% increase in cases over the previous week.
Page tells us the latest numbers put St. Louis County back into the CDC’s “high” category for COVID transmission.
That is the CDC’s most severe COVID case category.
And Page says COVID transmission seems to be accelerating.
He also tells us the positivity rate in St. Louis County is up for the first time in a couple of months.
Page says that public health experts are indicating the increase in COVID numbers represents what is likely the beginning of a winter COVID surge.
Page revealing that the case increase in our area appears to be across the board and not limited to any particular age group or geography.
But Page does say that 5 to 14 year olds continue to have the highest infection rate…making efforts to vaccinate those children even more important.
Page making the case this morning that the attitude that COVID is over needs to change.
Page says we must redouble our efforts to get vaccinated, wear masks when in public and protect those around us.
We asked Page why he believes COVID cases are on the rise in St. Louis County.
“I think it’s several things. Most of the cases are increasing from household contacts- someone in the house is bringing it home and passing it along to other people who live in the same household. With more gathering inside and a little bit of sentiment in the community that we’re through this, I think people are dropping their guard down a little bit,” said Page.
54.5% of St. Louis county residents are now fully vaccinated while more than 61% have received a first dose.