In the video, Dr. Clay Dunagan said omicron is much more contagious than other variants. While it appears the symptoms of omicron are less severe than others, he said it can still be dangerous for some.
“We know that while it could possibly cause somewhat less severe disease, that for any individual COVID with omicron can still be a very serious illness, can land them in the hospital and cause death,” he said.
Dr. Alex Garza talked about the toll COVID-19 has taken on our health care system. He said our hospitals are full with more coronavirus patients being admitted daily and said their workforce is “exhausted and demoralized.”
Garza went on to urge the community to wear masks while in public and get booster shots as the St. Louis area has seen an increase in virus cases.
“If we continue on that path, it’s going to be really hard to take care of other patients, such as heart attacks and car crashes and things like that,” he said. “If you’re eligible, get the booster dose now.”
Dunagan said the task force is not asking people to cancel their holidays, but they are asking people to take extra safety precautions when gathering. If you’re at a gathering with someone who is at high risk or isn’t vaccinated, Dunagan said you should wear a mask, be socially distant and be outside whenever possible.
“If people can do these things, we’ll really decrease transmission in the region and take stress off the health system and off of families and vulnerable individuals,” he said.
Watch the full message in the YouTube video below:
St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force data for Dec. 21, 2021:
- New hospital admissions (data lagged two days) decreased – from 66 yesterday to 60 today.
- The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions (data lagged two days) increased from 70 yesterday to 71 today.
- The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations increased – from 516 yesterday to 525 today.
- Inpatient confirmed COVID positive hospitalizations increased – from 536 yesterday to 560 today.
- Inpatient suspected COVID positive hospitalizations decreased - from 36 yesterday to 28 today.
- The number of confirmed COVID positive patients in the ICU remained the same at 129 today.
- The number of confirmed COVID positive patients on ventilators increased – from 72 yesterday to 78 today.
- 8 COVID deaths were reported yesterday.
- The seven-day moving average of COVID deaths remained the same at 8 today.
- Across the system hospitals, 99 patients were discharged yesterday bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 32,059.
- Of the 529 hospitalized COVID patients in the three reporting Task Force hospital systems today –107 are fully vaccinated. That’s 20% of the patient population.
- There are 4 COVID positive children who are 0-11 years of age in Task Force hospitals.
- There are 7 COVID positive children who are 12-18 years of age in Task Force hospitals.
- There are 1 COVID positive children who are 0-11 years of age and in the ICU.
- There are 3 COVID positive children who are 12-18 years of age and in the ICU.
Tuesday's staffed bed hospital capacity is at 89% an average across our task force hospitals. The ICUs are at 83% of their total staffed bed capacity.