St. Louis coronavirus task force chief says ‘no good playbook’ on how to reopen sooner

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ST. LOUIS – Local medical leaders say hospitalizations are flat and a curve downward should be coming soon.

However, Dr. Alex Garza, the Incident Commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, continues to warn that relaxing social distancing too quickly could lead to a second wave.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force daily briefing is an opportunity to get updates and answers on the area’s healthcare status while fighting COVID-19.

Garza said the health care systems will play a role in supporting the work of local governments, public health departments and businesses as they start to reopen.

Garza was asked if there is anything the region could be doing better to coordinate testing to expedite reopening. He answered, saying St. Louis is doing a good job. It’s a once in a lifetime pandemic and no one has the perfect playbook on how to do it.

The task force includes health professionals from major healthcare systems. They are now all working as a team to deliver the latest numbers and our progress in hospitals during this crisis.

Garza said there are 678 hospitalizations, which is down from yesterday. However, there is a slight increase in ventilator use, which is now at 113. Area hospitals did release 50 COVID-19 patients, brining the total in the area to 1,167.

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