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Missouri COVID-19 hospitalizations break records again

Missouri COVID-19 hospitalizations break records again

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ST. LOUIS — Missouri COVID-19 hospitalization numbers once again broke records on Monday, as the pandemic continues to surge across the Midwest.

Missouri reported there were 2,805 hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide — double the number six weeks ago. The seven-day average was a record-high of 2,676 coronavirus patients. Missouri hospitalization data lags three days, and not every hospital reports every day.

There were a record 647 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units statewide, up from 504 on Nov. 1. Statewide ICU data is not available prior to July 15.

The state reported 3,370 new cases of the virus on Monday and two more deaths.

Illinois, meanwhile, reported 8,322 new cases of the virus on Monday and 47 more deaths. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals statewide was the second-highest ever, at 6,171, just below the record 6,175 reported on Saturday.

During a briefing Monday, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike urged residents to avoid large gatherings this week and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Thanksgiving hasn’t happened yet. People can still change their plans and change the outcome,” Ezike said. “We don’t have to have superspreader events in homes throughout our state and throughout the country.”

Dr. Alex Garza, who leads the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, said during a briefing Monday that he was grateful to residents who are changing their holiday plans in response to the rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Note from St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force regarding the numbers for July 20: There was a delay in reporting some test results leading to the increase in reported hospital admissions.

Editor's note: This chart has been adjusted to reflect suspected and confirmed cases in hospitalized patients in early June. Previous updates only had confirmed case numbers.

“This is not what any of us wanted for this holiday season. But by avoiding travel and large family gatherings right now, you will help prevent an even more deadly surge later on,” Garza said.

The task force reported 89 new COVID-19 admissions to area hospitals — a decline from Sunday, but still far higher than any day in the spring or summer.

“We always take those variations from day to day with a grain of salt,” Garza said.

The total number of patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 tied with the record set on Friday, of 881, and the seven-day average hit a record high of 854.

There are also 153 patients hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of patients with confirmed and suspected cases to 1,034. The task force data lags two days; it includes BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s Hospital facilities in the metro area.

Garza said Monday that the task force is still in discussions with the state and with the Missouri Hospital Association about scaling up hospital capacity here.

Hospitals here are operating at 81% of staffed bed capacity, and 84% of staffed bed capacity in intensive care units, according to the task force.

Annika Merrilees • 314-340-8528 @annie3mer on Twitter amerrilees@post-dispatch.com

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