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Missouri unveils new COVID-19 data dashboard, total reported coronavirus cases decreases

Missouri unveils new COVID-19 data dashboard, total reported coronavirus cases decreases

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ST. LOUIS — Missouri health officials on Monday reported a total of 123,276 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, a decrease of 130 from the number reported Sunday.

The decrease is attributable to Missouri’s new data dashboard, health department spokesperson Lisa Cox said Monday.

As Missouri updated its dashboard, officials have done “quality assurance” and removed some cases that had been counted more than once or incorrectly counted as confirmed, Cox said.

Missouri’s seven-day rolling average of coronavirus hospitalizations has been steadily increasing. On Sunday, that average was 1,069, according to data provided by the state on Monday.

Locally, while more populated areas such as St. Louis and St. Louis County see a steady, downward trend of coronavirus cases, outlying areas such as Franklin County and Jefferson County continue to see increases, Dr. Alex Garza, head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, said Monday.

“There’s a difference in transmission mitigation strategies across the St. Louis metropolitan area,” Garza said. “Because of this, the virus will continue to circulate in the metro area on both sides of the river as well as across the state of Missouri, as we’ve seen recently. This doesn’t mean that it’s safe for areas where the numbers are down to relax at all. There’s a reason the numbers are down in St. Louis city and county. We all need to wear a mask, stay away from large crowds, and wash our hands to avoid getting sick. If we stay on that path, then we can slowly do the things we all enjoy doing.”

Jefferson County reported 168 new cases on Monday, for a total of 4,470 since the start of the pandemic, and 61 total deaths. Franklin County had 21 new cases for a total of 1,757, with 29 deaths, according to state data.

In all, there are 272 confirmed coronavirus patients hospitalized in the St. Louis area. This number accounts for hospitalizations across the BJC Healthcare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s hospital systems. Of those, 79 are in an intensive care unit and 49 are on ventilators.

The number of COVID-19 patients is currently lower than area health experts’ previous projections, Garza said. Only 29 people were admitted to task force hospitals in the past 24 hours.

Illinois saw 1,709 new cases on Monday for a total of 287,930. There were 13 new deaths for a total of 8,601 in the state.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said Monday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the city has remained relatively stable. There were 22 new cases reported on Monday, for a total of 6,980 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, and 198 deaths. Krewson said younger residents — those in their 20s and 30s — accounted for about half the number of recent cases.

The city’s health department is coordinating with St. Louis athletics directors and superintendents to determine whether they can “come up with a plan that would allow youth sports,” Krewson said. She has said the city will allow youth sports including high school football, which is still off-limits in St. Louis County.

“The angst is around testing — how often the athletes and staff need to be tested and how that would all work,” Krewson said.

St. Louis Public Schools spokeswoman Meredith Pierce said the district will have to submit a plan to city health officials addressing how COVID-19 precautions would be taken if youth sports started up again. District officials are meeting Tuesday to discuss how to move forward.

St. Louis County revised restrictions for youth sports went into effect Monday. Athletes aged 14 and up in certain high-impact sports, like football, rugby and basketball, are prohibited from playing in competitions. Athletes under age 14, and those participating in moderate- to low-contact sports like track, gymnastics and baseball are allowed to compete with other teams in the region. For all sports, the number of spectators is limited.

According to state data, though St. Louis County has the most COVID-19 cases by volume in Missouri, the county is the 20th highest in the state when considering the county’s population. There have been 24,207 cases in St. Louis County.

St. Louis County health officials encouraged residents to get their flu vaccines soon, as having fewer residents sick with the flu will allow local healthcare professionals to focus on those suffering from COVID-19.

“Common symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, coughing, congestion, difficulty breathing — are similar to the symptoms of the flu,” officials said in a statement Monday. “Flu shots do not prevent COVID-19. However, getting a flu shot decreases your chances of getting the flu and keeps people healthy and out of hospital for flu treatment.”

Updated at 6:30 p.m. Monday with more information.

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