Apex of coronavirus cases expected in St. Louis region this weekend

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The latest modeling data from the St Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force shows the region is still heading towards an apex of COVID-19 cases this weekend.   That apex means the largest number of cases to date in our region, and should not give the community any reason to relax their social distancing practices according to the Task Force. 

Task Force Commander Dr. Alex Garza spoke with the media today and tried to frame some context to this weekend’s predicted apex.  Dr. Garza encouraged the St. Louis region to not look past the apex, but rather understand that this is the single highest period for the risk of transmission and infection. 

“The steps we have in place are working and they should remain in place,” said Dr. Garza. 

Since tracking began, 619 patients have been treated and released for COVID-19 in the area’s largest healthcare systems.  But hospitalizations in the region continue to trend more than 50 percent higher than at the start of the pandemic crisis, and there is every indication that those high numbers will continue. 

Today, Dr. Garza reported 685 patients are hospitalized in area facilities.  Among them, 185 patients are occupying ICU beds in the area and 133 patients are requiring ventilators for their care. 

The Task Force says the area’s hospitals are able to handle those numbers because efforts locally to social distance and stay at home have been successful in flattening the COVID-19 curve.  

In the weeks that led up to the pandemic crisis, the St. Louis region was trending toward hospitalization numbers that would have stressed the local healthcare systems and their workers.  However, Dr. Garza has repeatedly pointed to the actions of St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in ordering “stay at home” measures as a difference-maker in our region. 

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