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After days of decreasing hospital admissions, task force reports 'bump' in COVID-19 numbers

Staffed bed hospital capacity is at 80%, an average across task force hospitals. The ICUs are at 82% of their total staffed bed capacity

ST. LOUIS — New hospital admissions and the seven-day moving average of hospital admissions increased slightly in St. Louis area hospitals Friday -- numbers that the head of St. Louis task force said he hopes do not indicate a trend.

"So that 48 was a small bump up from the 30s that we were seeing in the previous days," said Dr. Alex Garza, head of the task force, said during a briefing Friday afternoon. "We're hoping that's just a one-day bump and that will get right back down to where we were previously, which is down into the 30s."

Still, cases of COVID-19 levels still remain relatively low, with the seven-day moving average of hospitalizations and COVID-19-positive patients continuing to fall.

"We're cautiously optimistic to see a continued decline in the hospital admissions and hospitalizations," Garza said. "But we're not out of the woods yet."

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Friday reported the following data the four major health systems (BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health, St. Luke’s Hospital) that are part of the task force:

  • New hospital admissions (data lagged two days) increased – from 39 yesterday to 48 today.
  • The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions (data lagged two days) increased – from 42 yesterday to 43 today.
  • The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations decreased - from 331 yesterday to 324 today.
  • Inpatient confirmed COVID positive hospitalizations decreased – from 313 yesterday to 301 today.
  • Inpatient suspected COVID positive hospitalizations increased – from 29 yesterday to 39 today.
  • The number of confirmed COVID positive patients in the ICUs increased – from 77 yesterday to 78 today.
  • The number of confirmed COVID positive patients on ventilators increased – from 56 yesterday to 57 today.
  • The number of COVID deaths decreased – from 7 yesterday to 6 today.
  • The seven-day moving average of COVID remained the same at 7 today.
  • Across the system hospitals, 62 COVID-19 patients were discharged to home yesterday, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 18,983.
  • Staffed bed hospital capacity is at 80%, an average across task force hospitals. The ICUs are at 82% of their total staffed bed capacity.

Because of the positive progress the region is making in COVID-19 hospital admissions, the task force will give live briefings once per week, on Wednesdays. The virtual briefings had been taking place two to three times per week.

RELATED: Here's how you can get in line for the COVID-19 vaccine

Watch the entire task force briefing in the YouTube player below:

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Friday reported 562 new cases of COVID-19 -- marking the eighth day in a row the state reported fewer than 1,000 new cases. The state's positivity rate remained steady at 7%. 

The Illinois health department reported 2,219 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Friday. There were 63 additional deaths, which brings the total to 1,170,902 cases since the coronavirus pandemic reached Illinois a year ago. The illness has claimed 20,192 lives. 

The state has received 2.6 million doses of the vaccine designed to prevent COVID-19, and has administered 2,060,706 of them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.