Department of Human Services, healthcare group prepare for increase in COVID cases due to Delta variant

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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Department of Human Services is gearing up for the new onslaught of COVID cases sparked by the Delta variant.

The agency received $8 million in funds from the Cares Act. It will get around $18 million more in the new round of pandemic funds. 

Agency Director Valerie Russell told Fox 2’s Elliott Davis that today she’s ordered more PPEs, like masks, hand sanitizers, and other items to distribute. 

Her agency helps provide transportation for homebound people to get to vaccination sites. And helps the homeless arrange to get their vaccines.

The agency also arranges transportation for the homeless who have contracted COVID. They provide PPEs and other help to nonprofit agencies that help seniors and veterans and others, who are trying to survive the pandemic, and who now have to gear up for the Delta variant. 

Missouri and St. Louis are now facing a fresh COVID crisis. Affinia Healthcare, that’s been the main group on the ground in St Louis’ hardest hit minority areas in the battle against COVID, is seeing a huge increase in cases brought on by the Delta Variant.

Affinia’s Senior Vice President Dr. Kendra Holmes says the situation is especially bad in St Louis’ minorities areas both North and South because of the poor vaccination rates. She talked to Elliott Davis today at one of the remote vaccine centers sponsored by the organization where 16,000 people have been vaccinated so far.

Back in May, there were 334 new cases a day statewide. Now that’s up to 1,500 a day. The statewide positivity rate was 3 percent back in March. Now, it’s 14.4 percent.

The new rise was once mainly in outstate Missouri, but now it’s landed on the city’s doorstep. St Louis had 13 new COVID cases a day back in March. It’s now seeing 41 a day.

The positivity was at 3 percent in the city in March, but now that’s shot up to 12 percent. Dr. Holmes says it may be as high as 15-17 percent in some of the more Covid challenged areas of St Louis.

Covid has hit minority areas especially hard. 

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