COVID-19 data is improving rapidly, but Page does not say enough to consider dropping the mask mandate | Coronavirus
COVID-19 data is improving rapidly, but Page does not say enough to consider dropping the mask mandate |  Coronavirus

COVID-19 data is improving rapidly, but Page does not say enough to consider dropping the mask mandate | Coronavirus

ST. LOUIS – As cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations decrease in St. Louis area, government officials continue to stress the need to test, wear masks and be vaccinated or boosted.

This week, St. The Louis Department of Health plans to distribute 25,000 rapid antigen test kits and more than 53,000 high-quality N95 masks to vulnerable residents and city employees over the next two to three weeks.

The effort comes in the heels of the department’s expansion last week of its $ 100 vaccination gift card program. Gift certificates will not only go to those who receive their first COVID-19 vaccine at any health department or federally qualified health center in the city, but also to those who receive their second dose or boosters.

“St. Louis is experiencing a decline in our case positivity, and while it is reassuring, we are still taking steps to protect those who face the greatest risk of serious illness from COVID-19,” said City Health Director Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis. “We know that certain sections of the population are at greater risk of exposure and disease than others, so we are taking a fair approach to getting these resources to those who lack the means to do so.”

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The city’s positivity – the percentage of COVID-19 tests that return positive – has averaged just over 8% in the past week, according to state data. A month ago it was almost 40%. The city’s goal is to get below 5%, which means fewer cases are likely to go undetected.

The city’s health department will work with social authorities and schools to get antigen tests and masks for vulnerable residents such as teachers, the homeless, the elderly, those living far away from a pharmacy and others who may not have a phone or internet service to access. to help, according to department spokesman Harold Bailey.

St. The Louis County Department of Public Health is continues its efforts to get saliva tests for COVID-19, which are very accurate and take up to a few days to be processed in a laboratory, in the hands of the residents.

The county’s health department is collaborating with the Eureka Fire Protection District to distribute 1,000 saliva test kits between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday at Eureka Community Center, 333 Bald Hill. No agreement is required.

However, this week’s distribution of saliva tests will be suspended on Wednesday at the North County Recreation Complex, 2577 Redman Avenue, due to a conflict with another event. The drive-thru distribution will resume from kl. 8.00 to kl. 16.00 Thursday.

The saliva tests are now also available at seven ward locations in St. Louis. Louis County Library. Residents can make arrangements to pick up a test edge by calling 314-994-3300.

The self-administered saliva tests must be handed in at one of the three county health department clinics to be treated for results. Opening hours are 8am to 4.30pm Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 2.30pm Friday.

Time can also be booked to be tested at one of the three county health clinics

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page pointed out at his weekly news conference Monday about pandemic efforts on positive signs such as rising vaccination rates. The county reached a milestone with more than 70% of residents starting vaccination. About 66% of the city’s residents have started vaccination.

Hospitals in St. The Louis area continues to report a steep decline in patients admitted with COVID-19, which led to the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force to skip their weekly press conference on Tuesday.

Taskforce data from Tuesday shows that 42 patients with COVID-19 were admitted to its hospitals. The seven-day average of daily admissions dropped to 72, after peaking at 200 in mid-January.

A total of 473 COVID-19 patients were admitted on Tuesday, dropping the seven-day average to 544. Less than a month ago, the number was nearly 1,400.

Municipal and county health officials have said they want the daily hospitalization of COVID-19 patients to fall below 40 and the number of hospitalized patients to fall below 350.

Some democratically-led states drop their mask mandates and other restrictions in response to improving data. Illinois on February 28, his claim expires that face clothing must be worn in most indoor spaces, except K-12 schools.

A mask mandate remains in force in the city of St. Louis until March 6th.

Page said he would like to see the county’s seven-day average of new cases fall below 50 and a positivity of less than 8% before considering such measures.

That latest county data showing 82 new cases were reported on Monday and the positivity rate was just under 11%. The numbers have dropped dramatically from even a week ago, when the county saw nearly 300 new cases a day.

“We do not want to take any premature steps that would endanger our hospitals or prevent our children from staying in the classroom …,” Page said.

“Stay with us, we’re almost there, we just need to keep an eye on this virus for a few more weeks to make sure these promising numbers hold, and if they do, we can talk about moving from a mask requirement.”

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