The St. Louis area hospitals are on the path to reach the same peak they experienced in April by mid-August.
Dr. Alex Garza, incident commander for the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, showed a projection of where hospital inpatient will be if the region doesn’t take steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, during his Monday, July 27 briefing.
“As you can see on the most updated model, that timeline is around August 20,” he said. “If nothing changes, that’s when we’d get to our peak numbers.”
This is a change from the task force’s projections just a week ago, which Garza attributed to the dramatic increase in hospital admissions last week. The task force recently reported an average of 40 new hospital admissions a day, which is a “very concerning” number, Garza said.
County Executive Sam Page said today that hitting 40 new hospital admissions a day on average was the “threshold” or “milestone” for needing to implement new public health restrictions, including restricting the number of people gathering to 50 and closing bars at 10 p.m.
“This is all part of the dance that we have with the virus,” Garza said. “The whole point is to avoid the hammer,” referring to a complete shutdown.
If there is any good news out of today, Garza said it’s that the task force is reporting a significant drop in new hospital admissions, which lags 48 hours. That number was 24, down from 36 yesterday.
“This is the lowest we’ve seen in two weeks,” he said. “We’ll take the win when we can get it. But as I’ve said before we don’t watch the fluctuations, we watch the trends.”
Garza said the seven-day moving average of hospital admissions (data lagged two days) decreased — from 40 yesterday to 38 today. The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations also decreased — from 246 yesterday to 245 today.
Garza is hoping that the impact of the mask requirements from the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, which went into effect on July 3, will show in this week’s numbers.
Inpatient confirmed COVID-positive hospitalizations increased - from 240 yesterday to 253 today. Patients who are awaiting test results decreased — from 97 yesterday to 94 today.
The number of confirmed COVID-positive patients in the ICUs decreased — from 59 yesterday to 54 today. The number of confirmed COVID-positive patients on ventilators remained the same at 28 for the third day in a row.
Across the system hospitals, 28 COVID-19 patients were discharged yesterday, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 3,698.