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St. Louis leaders urge caution as COVID data shows progress

The 7-day averages for hospitalizations, new admissions and deaths are down in the St. Louis area and across the state

ST. LOUIS — Key data categories in the coronavirus pandemic - the 7-day averages for hospitalizations, new admissions, and deaths -- are down in the St. Louis area and across the state. But leaders say it is too early to celebrate.

"The number of positive cases is down, but the number of tests is down also because, of course, there were not a lot of people getting tested over the Christmas holiday," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said Wednesday.

Krewson urged caution when reacting to positive numbers in the St. Louis region, the same numbers that prompted her County counterpart, Dr. Sam Page, to rollback some restaurant restrictions there.

"It's important to emphasize that we're able to make this policy change because the numbers are going in the right direction. But it's also important for everyone to realize that indoor dining -- even with these protocols -- continues to pose a substantial risk to patrons and employees alike," Page said.

In Jefferson County, health leaders posted positive numbers, adding "Though we are still in RED, this is the lowest since October."

Missouri's 7-day average for new admissions, hospitalizations, and COVID deaths are all declining, though Gov. Mike Parson said numbers are high.

"We are still experiencing high volumes of cases. Our data shows that Missouri's cases and hospitalizations are stabilizing. With that said, this fight is not over," Parson said.

And in each case leaders noted downward trends may not remain that way, especially as we start to see the effects of holiday travel and New Year's celebrations.

"There is reason to be optimistic about the new year will bring, especially with vaccine and with more immunity in the population. But we are not there yet," St. Louis Metropolitan Task Force head Dr. Alex Garza said.

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