St. Louis Task Force leader talks chances of getting COVID during Thanksgiving

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ST. LOUIS – The head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force said today that he and leaders at area hospitals are worried about the impact Thanksgiving will have on the spread of COVID-19 in the area.

“We are at a very delicate point right now and what we do this week can have an impact,” said Dr. Alex Garza, incident commander of the task force.

During an afternoon briefing, Dr. Garza also talked about research from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Researchers there have created a COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool.

He said the tool shows that if you gathered with 10 people in the St. Louis metro area, you’d have a probability of someone having COVID. The numbers range from 22% in St. Louis City up to 38% in St. Charles County.

Dr. Garza asked people to think about that when they are going out this week and to ask themselves if they are really ok with those odds.

Dr. Garza did say there was some good news. He reported there were 89 new hospital admissions. That is down from previous reports. The task force would like to see the number around 40.

Dr. Garza also said admissions are coming down for the entire eastern part of the state.

He also said it is important we get this under control now so people can have a chance of having Christmas. Dr. Garza said if people aren’t practicing the “safer at home” approach, we are assured of not having a holiday season that doesn’t involve more restrictions.

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