ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — St. Charles County reported 7,100 new COVID-19 cases within the last seven days.
Executive Steve Ehlmann says those numbers need more context.
"Last year and a half we've been saying that the number of infections isn't the important thing because as you know, some infections can be very very serious and others can be very very mild," Ehlmann said.
St. Charles County's most recent positivity rate is at 41% as of January 15th.
Ehlmann believes it's important to focus more on the hospitalizations and deaths.
"We have about 21% of the population in the region but we only have 13% of the hospitalizations, so it looks again as though while our cases may be the same, number of cases, the percentage of cases, the percentage of people hospitalized is much lower," Ehlmann said.
The County has reported 755 deaths during the pandemic . Ehlmann plans to continue business as usual, recommending vaccines and masking but not requiring.
"We're not mandating anything. We are letting those decisions be made by the people, whether they want to be vaccinated whether they want to wear mask whatever it is they want to do," Ehlmann said.
This time last year, St. Charles County's positivity rate was 15%, and St. Louis County's was 10%. Both are now almost three times as high.
"Even without the mandates, we have been at least as successful as other jurisdictions in the region in keeping the hospitalizations down and keeping the deaths down," Ehlmann said.
Ehlmann said 31%t of their COVID cases over the last seven days are people under 20.
Visit St. Charles County's COVID-19 webpage for its most recent report.
Visit St. Louis County's COVID-19 webpage for its most recent report.