COVID-19 numbers go up in St. Louis, Dr. Garza argues for wearing masks

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ST. LOUIS – The head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force is asking people to exercise common sense now that the city’s mask mandate is in effect.

Dr. Alex Garza reminded all St. Louisans ahead of the Fourth of July weekend to follow CDC guidelines and avoid congested venues in order to decrease the transmission of coronavirus.

“The virus doesn’t take a holiday,” he said.

“I know it can be alarming to see our numbers growing instead of decreasing,” Garza said. “However, how this all plays out is entirely up to us as a community”

Friday Data

  • New hospital admissions increased from 11 Thursday to 24 Friday.
  • The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions increased from 17 Thursday to 19 Friday.
  • The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations increased from 142 Thursday to 145 Friday.
  • Confirmed COVID positive hospitalizations increased from 153 Thursday to 159 Friday.
  • Confirmed COVID positive patients in the ICUs stayed the same at 44.
  • Confirmed COVID positive patients on ventilators increased from 21 Thursday to 23 Friday.
  • Suspected COVID positive hospitalizations increased from 105 Thursday to 107 Friday.
  • There are 8 Suspected COVID positive patients in the ICU and 4 on ventilators.
  • Across the system hospitals, 21 COVID-19 patients were discharged Thursday, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 2,946.  

Dr. Garza on mask-wearing

Garza responded to pushback on the St. Louis mask mandate by comparing it to doing things people do daily to protect the community, such as wearing seatbelts, prohibiting smoking in restaurants, having children vaccinated before they go to school, and having healthcare workers vaccinated.

He also argued that when a person wears a mask it enhances their freedoms instead of impeding on them because of the reduction in transmission will then allow shelter-in-place orders to be lifted and allow businesses to stay open.

In his argument for mask-wearing, Garza cited a research study from the University of Washington that shows if 95 percent of Americans consistently wear a mask, then the country could prevent 33,000 deaths by October.

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