ST. LOUIS — For the third consecutive day, Missouri on Sunday reported a record number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported that 1,125 patients were in hospitals with confirmed or presumed COVID-19. That is the highest number the state has logged throughout the pandemic.
Statewide hospitalization data is not available for July 13 through July 24, and not every hospital reports every day.
Data released Friday by the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force shows that COVID-19 patient admissions are rising quickly in outlying areas, like Jefferson and Franklin counties. Mercy Hospital Washington, seeing higher numbers of virus patients than ever, transferred two COVID-19 patients to Mercy South on Thursday because of lack of intensive care unit capacity.
After declining throughout the first few weeks of September, hospitalizations in the St. Louis region have also risen recently. The seven-day average of new daily admissions was 35 on Sunday, up from 31 on Sept. 21, according to data from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force.
The task force data lags by two days, and includes patient numbers from BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s Hospital facilities in the metro area.
The St. Louis Department of Health has urged attendees of a recent bike rally to seek screening for COVID-19. The five-day event, Bikefest Lake of the Ozarks, ended on Sept. 20. Last year it drew about 125,000 people to the area.
The department said that attendees of the event may be at a higher risk for the virus, and should seek testing.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced last week that the state COVID-19 public hotline will no longer be available 24 hours a day. The department said that calls will now be accepted from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, when 93% of calls have been coming in recently.
The hotline is available for citizens and health care providers who need guidance related to COVID-19. The department said the hotline has been receiving about 3,000 calls each week recently. Call volumes peaked in late March, with the hotline at one point receiving more than 15,000 calls in one week.
Missouri reported 1,392 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, reaching a total of 123,406 since the beginning of the pandemic. Illinois reported 1,604 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, reaching a total of 287,930, and 13 more deaths.
Fifteen residents of the Oak Hill senior living facility in Waterloo have tested positive for COVID-19, staff said in a statement released Friday.
Residents and staff at the Monroe County facility were tested again on Thursday, though those results had not yet been received by Sunday evening.
All positive patients are being kept under quarantine. Outside visits to the facility have been canceled, and the facility is not currently admitting new residents.
Rachel Rice of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.
Annika Merrilees • 314-340-8528 @annie3mer on Twitter email@example.com