St. Louis doctors are worried the region’s hospitals don’t have enough beds to treat the expected surge in patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The St. Louis metropolitan area has about 9,300 hospital beds, not including public hospitals, according to the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition. Nearly one-third of those beds are available. But that likely won't be enough to treat more than 100,000 patients who could need emergency care throughout the outbreak, Harvard University researchers said in a recent report.
9:40 p.m. Monday, March 23 The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has expanded the criteria for who can get tested for COVID-19. Hospitalized patients, residents of long-term care facilities and people with chronic illnesses can be tested even if they have not traveled to a country where the disease is spreading. The department on Monday also updated its recommendations for when a person can stop isolating at home if they had COVID-19. That includes waiting 72 hours after they’ve recovered from their symptoms to discontinue home isolation.