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St. Louis area hospitals report record number of COVID hospitalizations, children hospitalized with COVID

The task force reported records in a number of different categories as the omicron surge continues.

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force reported a record number of patients with COVID-19 Monday, and also broke records for child COVID patients in the hospital in the intensive care unit.

Days after calling the current state of COVID-19 in area hospitals "really a frightening scenario," the numbers continued to climb, as task force leaders predicted they would. Despite reporting 499 COVID discharges in the last four days, the number of COVID patients in task force hospitals climbed from 735 on Thursday to 964 on Monday.

RELATED: 'This is really a frightening scenario': Task force reports record number of new COVID admissions

Of the 964 patients, 67% are unvaccinated and 33% are fully vaccinated. The task force defines fully vaccinated as having received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

After setting a single-day record for admissions on Thursday with 169 new COVID patients, the task force reported 188 new patients on both Friday and Saturday.

The task force is also reporting a record number of child COVID-19 patients. On Monday, there were 54 children in the hospital with the virus, 13 of which were in the ICU. The previous high for children hospitalized was 31, and the previous high for children in the ICU was 10.

The task force said 86% of hospital beds and 79% of ICU beds are currently occupied in task force hospitals.

The number of total COVID-positive or suspected COVID patients in the ICU has not reached the levels seen earlier on in the pandemic, but the 180 COVID patients in the ICU is up about 15% from last Monday and is the highest since January of 2021.

The number of COVID-positive patients dying in task force hospitals is also on the rise. The seven-day average reached 10 on Friday and again on Monday. It's the first time the seven-day average has reached 10 since late August when the delta surge was peaking.

Deaths and ICU admissions typically lag behind cases and hospitalizations.

In an unplanned briefing on Thursday, the leader of the task force, Dr. Alex Garza said the current staff is struggling to handle the workload of the increased patient population, and some of their employees are testing positive. Workers who test positive are sent home to quarantine, which means hospital capacity could decrease due to decreased staffing.

"At a time when we need to be surging, barring really any outside help, we simply can't stay on this path and be able to operate," Dr. Garza said.

As numbers continue to increase, Dr. Garza said he thinks the worst is yet to come.

"We expect the number of COVID patients we are taking care of to continue to climb, and this is really a frightening scenario," Dr. Garza said.

RELATED: Lifting COVID emergency order could impact Missouri health care systems

The data for the past 4 days is as follows:

  • New hospital admissions (data lagged two days) decreased – from 161 Sunday to 159 Monday. 
    • 12/31: 188*    
      1/1/2022: 188*
      1/2/2022: 161
      1/3/2022: 159
      *New daily admission record
    • The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions (data lagged two days) increased – from 151 Sunday to 159 Monday.
      • 12/31: 127
        1/1/2022: 139
        1/2/2022: 151
        1/3/2022: 159*
        *New seven-day moving average record
    • The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations increased – from 760 Sunday to 808 Monday.
      • 12/31: 680
        1/1/2022: 717
        1/2/2022: 760
        1/3/2022: 808
    • Inpatient confirmed COVID-positive hospitalizations increased – from 901 Sunday to 964 Monday.
      • 12/31: 820
        1/1/2022: 847
        1/2/2022: 901
        1/3/2022: 964*
        *New daily hospitalization record
    • Inpatient suspected COVID-positive hospitalizations decreased – from 54 Sunday to 42 Monday.
      • 12/31: 45
        1/1/2022: 43
        1/2/2022: 54
        1/3/2022: 42
    • The number of confirmed COVID-positive patients in the ICU increased – from 172 Sunday to 175 Monday.
      • 12/31: 158
        1/1/2022: 168
        1/2/2022: 172
        1/3/2022:175
    • The number of confirmed COVID-positive patients on ventilators increased – from 103 Sunday to 106 Monday.
      • 12/31: 102
        1/1/2022: 104
        1/2/2022: 103
        1/3/2022: 106
    • 39 COVID deaths were reported the past four days. 
      • 12/31: 12
        1/1/2022: 8
        1/2/2022: 9
        1/3/2022: 10
  • The seven-day moving average of COVID deaths increased from 9 Sunday to 10 Monday.
  • Across the system hospitals, 499 patients were discharged over the past four days bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 33,362.
  • Of the 964 hospitalized COVID patients in the four reporting Task Force hospital systems today – 315 are fully vaccinated. That’s 33% of the patient population.
  • There are 24 COVID-positive children who are 0-11 years of age in Task Force hospitals.
  • There are 30 COVID-positive children who are 12-18 years of age in Task Force hospitals.
  • There are 8 COVID-positive children who are 0-11 years of age and in the ICU.
  • There are 5 COVID-positive children who are 12-18 years of age and in the ICU.
  • Monday’s staffed bed hospital capacity is at 86% an average across our task force hospitals. The ICUs are at 79% of their total staffed bed capacity.

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