CLAYTON, Mo. – A $1.99 million dollar survey conducted between August and October has revealed that at least five out of every one hundred St. Louis County residents, 39,000 people, has had COVID-19. This means that around 95 percent of St. Louis County’s one million residents could still get the virus.
Around one in every 100 St. Louis County residents, 9,500 people, currently have an active COVID-19 infection. Authorities are warning that the virus still has the potential to spread quickly and every precaution should still be taken as the world waits for a vaccine.
“The relatively small proportion of the population that had evidence of previous infection via antibody testing means that the size of the current surge we are experiencing in the region could be quite dramatic,” writes ” Elvin Geng, MD, MPH, professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine. “Under these conditions, we are already seeing a steep rise in cases that has the potential to overwhelm area hospitals.”
More than 1,300 people who live in St. Louis County got a diagnostic test and an antibody test to take part in the survey. More than 3,300 residents completed questionnaires to gauge how the pandemic had affected their lives.
St. Louis County says that around 25 percent of people said that they had experienced a reduction in wages or a job loss as the result of the pandemic.
The survey also found that Black residents were more than twice as likely to have had COVID-19 than white residents. There is also a higher death rate disparity between the groups.