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Metro East remains far from loosening restrictions despite improving positivity rate

Hospitalization data in the region means loosening restrictions are still a long way off
Credit: KSDK / Getty Images

ST. LOUIS — The Metro East has reported improving positivity rates over the last few days, but the region remains far from loosening restrictions, according to requirements from the state's health department.

The seven-day positivity rate in the Metro East was below the 12% threshold for the second day in a row Tuesday. That is one of the requirements to loosen restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus, but hospital data has not improved as consistently.

On Tuesday, the state's regional dashboard reported a seven-day positivity rate of 11.5%, the second day in a row of positivity below 12%. Friday is the first day that regions can begin moving to less restrictive tier.

Despite the positivity rate improving in the region, the Metro East needs to improve the other metrics being tracked by the health department.

Here are the requirements for moving from Tier 3 — the current set of restrictions — to Tier 2 and where the Metro East stands when it comes to the requirements.

Average test positivity rate of less than 12% for three consecutive days

According to the Illinois Department of Health's regional dashboard, the region has a positivity rate of less than 12% for the last two days.

If the region remains under 12% again on Wednesday, it would meet the requirements. Other metrics will keep them in Tier 4, however.

Credit: KSDK

Three-day average of staffed ICU availability above 20% for three consecutive days

According to the dashboard, the availability of ICU beds in the region has been below 20% for the last six days. On Tuesday, the availability was at 18.2%. The last time the region had more than 20% availability was Jan. 5.

Three-day average of staffed hospital bed availability above 20% for three consecutive days

According to the dashboard, the availability of staffed hospital beds has been below the 20% threshold for the last 15 days and 28 of the last 30. As of Tuesday, the region's hospital bed availability was 11.9%.

The last time the region had more than 20% of hospital beds available was Dec. 27, 2020. Dec. 26 and 27 were the only two days of the last 30 days that the region had more than 20% of the beds available.

Credit: IDPH

Declining 7-day average of hospitalizations for seven of the last 10 days

According to the dashboard, hospitalizations have decreased four times in the last 10 days. In the last 30 days, however, the region reported 19 days of decreases in the last 30, including 13 consecutive days from Dec. 24, 2020 to Jan. 5.

Credit: IDPH