ST. LOUIS – There is renewed caution about the spread of Covid-19 from state to state, especially in an area like St. Louis.
We can’t forget how interconnected we are and put too much stock in numbers being low in our particular city or county, according to health officials and elected leaders.
The St. Louis region has more than a dozen counties in two states but is really all “one place”.
There was good news in new numbers out Wednesday: 59 Covid-19 patients had just been released from area hospitals in a single day, the second-highest total of the pandemic. Overall hospitalization indicators were steady or down slightly.
There was also cause for concern.
There were four new deaths reported.
Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois have now seen 11% of their total positive cases in just the past 7 days.
St. Louis County has had 48% of all its positive cases in the past month.
Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker, and St. Louis Mayor, Lyda Krewson, both mentioned the regionality factor, Wednesday.
Mitigation measures like mask-wearing, early closing times, and capacity restrictions needed to be enforced on both sides of the river to be most effective, they said.
“The Illinois Department of Public Health worked closely with local officials in the region and counterparts across the Missouri border in St. Louis to put into place tier 1 mitigations that account for the unique characteristics of the region,” said Pritzker.
“Now, with Illinois also closing their bars and restaurants at 11:00, St. Louis County is already closed. They close at 10:00. We’re hoping we’re going to see an effect from that pretty soon,” said Krewson.
A doctor from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, IL, said a common theme was emerging among new cases.
“They’ll have a story of a younger person who may be traveled somewhere and did something with a group of people and maybe their son or their daughter now has come back in the household or they had some family gathering together,” said Dr. Daniel Normansell. “A lot of them seem to have some sort of story and a lot of it does have to do with younger folks.”
Most new cases in the region continued to be among people in their 20’s and 30’s.
Normansell said the new cases he’d been seeing were typically traced to someone not wearing a mask, attending a large gathering, or both.