St. Louis medical community stresses importance of masks as COVID-19 numbers creep back up

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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force says it is watching the number of cases and hospitalizations creep up in the region, and that is something they are keeping a close eye on.

Dr. Alex Garza, the incident commander for the Task Force, discussed the new requirements mandating masks in St. Louis City and County.

He said there is really clear and convincing evidence that wearing a facemask can slow the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Garza explained anytime you have increased cases, that means there is an increased transmission, and that will lead to an increase in hospitalizations.

Here is some of the latest data:

  • The data shows new hospital admissions decreased slightly, down to 22 from 27 Tuesday.
  • The total number of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations did rise from 143 to 154.
  • 14 COVID-19 patients were discharged yesterday, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 2,905. 

Snapshot of cases in region:

  • 239 new cases in region reported on June 30
  • 136 new cases in St. Louis County reported June 30
  • 93% of the regions cases on June 30 came from St. Louis Co., St. Louis City, & St. Clair Co.

Dr. Garza also explained the hospital can handle the patients it has now and knows it can handle more, but the hospitals don’t want to get back to that point.

He says that can be achieved by wearing masks, practicing good social distancing, and washing your hands.

He also cited a new study that looked at who is wearing masks in each state. The study found about 40% to 50% of Missourians are wearing them. In Illinois, around 70% of people were found to be wearing masks.

He stressed the more people who wear masks, the less negative impact there is on businesses moving forward.

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