ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state and 26 new COVID-19 deaths Tuesday.
The department reported 134,583 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,200 deaths Tuesday, a single-day increase of 1,165 cases and 26 deaths.
Tuesday was the sixth time in the last eight days that the department reported more than 10 new COVID-19 deaths.
The department reported a total of 1,946,604 tests conducted, an increase of 16,518 in the last 24 hours. The state said a total of 1,367,139 people have undergone a PCR test, an increase of 8,471 in the last 24 hours.
The department uses the number of people who have had a PCR test to calculate the positivity rate. The department said the seven-day positivity rate in the state for Oct. 3 was 14%, down from 14.3% on Monday. The seven-day average is delayed by 72 hours to improve accuracy, so the number reported Tuesday represents the seven-day average from Oct. 3.
The seven-day average of hospitalizations across the state increased Tuesday, from 1,142 to 1,150. On Monday, the dashboard said the seven-day average was 10,90, but the data was updated Tuesday to show the number never dipped below 1,140.
In the St. Louis area, the seven-day average of hospitalizations decreased on Tuesday even though the number of new admissions increased.
Here is a full breakdown of the task force data from Tuesday:
- New hospital admissions (data lagged two days) increased from 21* yesterday to 43 today.
- The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions (data lagged two days) increased – from 33 yesterday to 34 today.
- The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations decreased – from 259 yesterday to 254 today.
- Inpatient confirmed COVID positive hospitalizations increased – from 245 yesterday to 246 today.
- Inpatient suspected COVID positive hospitalizations decreased - from 108 yesterday to 95 today.
- The number of confirmed COVID positive patients in the ICUs increased – from 71 yesterday to 75 today.
- The number of confirmed COVID positive patients on ventilators decreased – from 49 yesterday to 47 today.
- Across the system hospitals, 37 COVID-19 patients were discharged yesterday, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 6,556.
*The hospital admissions data from Monday changed from 20 to 21 due to delayed test results but did not affect the seven-day moving average.
On Monday, Dr. Alex Garza, the incident commander of the task force, said the St. Louis area had a "great" weekend when it came to admissions data.
On Monday, the task force reported 20 new COVID-19 admissions, the third consecutive day of fewer than 30 new admissions. As a result, the seven-day average of new admissions dipped to 33, the lowest average since Sept. 25.
In addition to the decrease in new admissions, most of the counties in the St. Louis area reported fewer new COVID-19 cases in the last seven days when compared to the previous week.
All the Missouri counties in the St. Louis area other than Lincoln County reported the same or fewer new COVID-19 cases week-over-week. The numbers weren't as good in Illinois, where Monroe, St. Clair and Clinton counties reported more new cases than the previous seven days.
"We've seen some swings in our numbers within the past week, but hopefully we'll continue to see that trend go down," Dr. Garza said.
Although most counties saw week-over-week improvements, Dr. Garza said some counties are still seeing a high number of new cases.
Dr. Garza said while St. Louis and St. Louis County have continued to limit the spread, other parts of the area have continued to see increases in new cases. As a result, the task force said the area as a whole has a reproductive rate of 0.99. Anything below 1 means the region is interrupting the spread of the virus.