Downward Curve: St. Louis Area Now Seeing Fewer New Coronavirus Cases | St. Louis Public Radio

Downward Curve: St. Louis Area Now Seeing Fewer New Coronavirus Cases

Apr 21, 2020

The number of new coronavirus cases in the St. Louis metro area is decreasing.

Although the overall number of positive cases continues to rise, fewer people on average are getting that diagnosis today than a week ago, according to an analysis of county-level data.

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That deceleration of new cases comes ahead of this weekend, when the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force predicts area hospitals will see peak numbers of COVID-19 patients. Experts said the peak is not expected to overwhelm the region’s supply of hospital beds, ICU beds or ventilators. The average length of the illness is about 14 days.

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Dr. Alex Garza, who leads the task force, has warned that if stay-at-home orders and other social distancing restrictions are relaxed too soon, the region’s hospitals may see a second spike of patients needing hospital care. 

As of Monday evening, more than 4,600 people, or about 165 per 100,000 people, in the St. Louis metro had tested positive for the virus. (The bi-state metro area is comprised of the city of St. Louis and St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, Jefferson and Lincoln counties in Missouri; and St. Clair, Monroe, Madison, Clinton and Jersey counties in Illinois.)

The rate of new cases has also leveled off statewide in Missouri and Illinois. 

Illinois’ ratio of about 250 cases per 100,000 residents is roughly two and a half times greater than the nearly 95 per 100,000 people in Missouri who have tested positive. Both states are testing for the virus at a rate of about 1 test per 100 residents, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

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Brent Jones contributed to this report. 

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After steep increases at the end of March, new cases of people testing positive for the coronavirus have leveled off, if not declined in Missouri, Illinois and the St. Louis metro area.
Credit Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio