ST. LOUIS – This week’s surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the St. Louis area is prompting warnings about a possible return to more coronavirus restrictions.
Authorities consider the COVID-19 increases this week as a coronavirus wake up call for our area. County Executive Dr. Sam Page says he’s not ready to move forward yet with more restrictions but conversations about that issue could happen soon.
Earlier this week we saw a record number of 72 people admitted to hospitals in a single day.
We also this week hit the unfortunate milestone of having more than 500 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized, the last time we topped the 500 number was on May 13.
The latest numbers Thursday from St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force show new hospital admissions dropped from 72 to 52. The total amount of people hospitalized also fell back below 500 to 496.
The latest figures also show the number of people in ICU’s went up from 88 to 96; the number of patients on ventilators increased from 47 on Wednesday to 50 yesterday.
The hospitalization numbers as well as those on ventilators and in ICU’s are still well below the peaks back in April.
Page says there has not been a return to stay at home orders because we know more about the virus now and how to limit its spread.
But the recent increases are troubling.
“I think you’ll see conversations similar to what we’ve seen in the past. We’re not ready to draft those orders. We’re not ready to talk about restrictions yet. We’re watching this very closely but we know that if we don’t bend this curve we’ll be having some very real conversations about whether or not we’ll have to take a step backwards. It’s not anything any of us wants to see,” said Page.
Page says wearing masks and practicing social distancing are becoming even more important now with people moving inside and breathing shared air.