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St. Louis area COVID-19 hospitalizations dip below 600 for first time in a month

One very noticeable change in the data Thursday was the total number of coronavirus patients in area hospitals

ST. LOUIS — Two key coronavirus data points that St. Louis doctors are looking at showed mixed results Thursday.

This week, the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force explained it’s really starting to look at — and share — the seven-day averages of the number of new COVID-19 patients admitted to area hospitals and the seven-day average of the total number of patients in the hospital.

On Wednesday, incident commander Dr. Alex Garza said there were 29 new patients admitted on Monday (the data is lagged by two days).

“That’s actually the lowest number we’ve ever had,” he said when sharing the news.

RELATED: ‘It’s going to be a new normal’ | St. Louis doctors stress importance of data-driven decisions in reopening

On Thursday, the task force reported 35 new COVID-19 patients admitted to area hospitals.

Even though the number increased, it’s still below the seven-day average of 39 people, which means if things continue in this direction, we could see the average number of new hospital admissions start to tick down.

“This is a trend, we’re going to keep an eye on it, see how this changes going forward,” Dr. Garza said Wednesday.

Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force

One very noticeable change in the data Thursday was the total number of coronavirus patients in area hospitals. The number dipped below 600 for the first time since April 11. The four hospital systems that make up the task force reported a total of 596 COVID-19 patients Thursday.

The seven-day average of patients in the hospital also decreased from 659 to 646.

Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force

The task force gave the following update on COVID-19 patients in area hospitals, how many of them are in the intensive care unit and how many of them are on ventilators.

  • Hospitalizations: 596 patients, down 34 people from Wednesday
  • ICU: 147 patients, up two people from Wednesday
  • On ventilators: 106 patients, down 12 people from Wednesday

Across the hospital systems, 45 coronavirus patients were released from area hospitals over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,553 COVID-19 patients released since the first case in the St. Louis area.

RELATED: St. Louis area sees small decreases in key COVID-19 data trends

As leaders in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County announce details on plans to gradually reopen local economies on May 18, the task force incident commander stressed it's more important than ever to look at the coronavirus trends and focus on the data.

“It’s even more vital that we continue to look at the data and make sure we’re going in the right direction and to reinforce all of those evidence-based practices, like washing hands, social distancing, all of those things so that it can continue to make a difference and decrease spread in the community,” Dr. Garza explained.

He said stay-at-home policies and social distancing measures helped reduce coronavirus cases and, likely, deaths in the area.

“I’m extremely grateful for everyone in the community for coming together and slowing the spread of the virus. That absolutely saved lives,” Dr. Garza said.

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