‘We have erased every bit of progress’- Task force leader on rising COVID cases and hospitalizations

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ST. LOUIS- COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are climbing dangerously across the region, reaching territory the area hasn’t seen since early on in the pandemic according to Dr. Alex Garza with the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force.

“We have erased every bit of progress we’ve made this summer and fall,” said Dr. Garza during this afternoon’s COVID briefing.

According to the data the task force released, St. Charles County had the biggest change in new COVID-19 cases over the last week. The ZIP Codes seeing the biggest increase were in O’Fallon and St. Charles.

Dr. Garza said the virus is circulating at a significant rate which is leading to more and more hospitalizations. He says the hospitals and staff are feeling the strain.

The latest data shows there are 342 people hospitalized with COVID. The number hasn’t been that high since the end of May.

Dr. Garza said the increases in cases isn’t just in St. Charles County. He said all counties are seeing an increase. However, he said the St. Louis region isn’t seeing as big of an increase as other parts of the state.

Dr. Garza said the hospitals can’t sustain this type of growth because it will overwhelm the health care systems.

He was asked about the possibility of canceling elective surgeries. Dr. Garza said that hasn’t been discussed specifically but says that option is definitely on the table and will likely be discussed in the future.

Here are the latest statistics from the task force:

– New hospital admissions (data lagged two days) decreased from 46* yesterday to 39 today.

– The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions (data lagged two days) increased from 46 yesterday to 48 today.

– The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations increased – from 307 yesterday to 315 today.

– Inpatient confirmed COVID positive hospitalizations increased – from 315 yesterday to 342 today. 

– Inpatient suspected COVID positive hospitalizations decreased – from 92 yesterday to 90 today.

– The number of confirmed COVID positive patients in the ICUs increased – from 82 yesterday to 89 today.

– The number of confirmed COVID positive patients on ventilators decreased from – 43 yesterday to 39 today.

– Across the system hospitals, 26 COVID-19 patients were discharged yesterday, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 7,103.  

*Sunday’s COVID positive admissions data increased from 42 to 46 due to delayed testing results. It did not change the seven-day moving average. We apologize for any issues this may cause.

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