St. Louis COVID Task Force urges everyone to wear a mask
The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force issued an urgent appeal Tuesday afternoon as cases continued to rise in Missouri and the St. Louis area.
Street. louis – The St. Louis Area Hospitals Task Force is asking everyone, even those who have been vaccinated, to return to wearing masks in public.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Epidemic Control Task Force issued an urgent appeal Tuesday afternoon as cases continued to rise in Missouri and the St. Louis area. The task force said the region is “preparing for a third wave of COVID-19 that may exceed the deaths and serious illnesses it suffered last winter.”
“When we first started with the masking and social distancing guidelines, the goal was to wear masks for protection until a vaccine was available,” explained Dr. Clay Donaghan, acting task force leader. “A vaccine is available, but unfortunately the vaccination rate in our community has not been high enough to prevent the spread of the delta variant. Now we need to go back to masks to combat this new wave of infection.”
The task force reported that in the past 24 hours, seven people in the St. Louis area have died from COVID-19. There are also 91 patients with COVID-19 in the area’s intensive care units. Almost all of these patients have not been vaccinated.
If more people don’t start wearing masks or getting vaccinated, task force leaders said hospitals may need to take drastic measures again to control the volume of patients in health systems, including restricting visitors and temporarily halting elective procedures.
The task force is asking everyone to wear a mask when in public places – including grocery stores, restaurants and businesses – when the vaccination status of everyone around you is unknown. This guidance also applies to those who have been vaccinated. The task force said that people who have been fully vaccinated can still pass on COVID-19 to others at risk.
Wearing a mask is not mandatory.
“It’s about personal choice and we urge our community to choose to protect each other,” said Dr. Donaghan. “You probably won’t get sick personally, and your children probably won’t get sick either, but you can still pass the disease on to others and keep spreading it.”
The Missouri Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard It shows 40.3% of Missouri residents have completed their vaccination as of Tuesday afternoon. Herd immunity occurs only in the 70-80% range, Tell Doctors 5 On Your Side. With vaccination rates low in Missouri and the St. Louis area, task force hospitals said mask-wearing should continue for everyone.
“I know that doesn’t seem fair,” said Dr. Donaghan. “The CDC has approved the removal of masks among vaccinated individuals. But our community does not have enough vaccinated individuals to safely implement these recommendations in the face of a variable delta flow. The safest thing for our community and the most effective way to get back on track is to wear masks — and get vaccinated. !”
The task force said the third wave of cases and deaths is preventable, noting that vaccines are widely available, free, safe and effective.
The task force hospitals realized that they released the following data on Tuesday afternoon, collecting numbers from four major health systems (BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health, St. Luke’s Hospital) that are part of the task force.
The data for July 20, 2021 are as follows:
- The number of new hospital admissions (data delayed by 2 days) increased – from 35 yesterday to 49 today.
- The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions (data two days late) increased – from 39 yesterday to 42 today.
- The seven-day moving average in hospitals has increased – from 249 yesterday to 256 today.
- Inpatients confirmed that COVID-positive hospitalizations increased — from 264 yesterday to 279 today.
- The number of inpatients suspected of having COVID has decreased – from 38 yesterday to 35 today.
- The number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 in intensive care units has decreased – from 91 yesterday to 86 today.
- The number of patients who tested positive for the COVID virus on ventilators remained the same at 45 today.
- The number of COVID deaths has decreased – from 6 yesterday to 1 today.
- The seven-day moving average of COVID deaths has decreased – from 3 yesterday to 2 today.
- Across the system’s hospitals, 45 patients have been discharged, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients to 23,673.
Hospital capacity with crew beds averages 92% across Tuesday’s task force hospitals. Intensive care units account for 79% of the total capacity of equipped beds.
For more information about vaccination sites and clinics you can check 5 Recent On Your Side coverage of the St. Louis area or visit Missouri COVID-19 vaccination website.
The appeal comes Tuesday after the Missouri Department of Health issued a statement Sixth advisory hotspot for new COVID-19 cases. The most recent advisory includes Phelps, Pulaski, and Laclide counties. The latest warning even indicates that the increase in the number of cases is expected to continue Moving along I-44 toward the St. Louis area.