Updated at 5:25 p.m. July 27 with details of plans to close some bars in St. Louis Alarmed about a growing number of coronavirus cases, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson on Monday announced new actions aimed at curbing the rapid spread of the virus in the region. Starting at 5 p.m. Friday, the county will limit gatherings to 50 people, businesses must operate at 25% of its occupancy limit, and all bars must close at 10 every night. Page said his office will begin closing businesses that are “not playing by the rules.”
An increase in COVID-19 cases in the St. Louis region has caused the St. Louis Sports Medicine COVID-19 Task Force, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and the St. Louis Department of Health to initiate a hold on all youth sport games and scrimmages . The move has some pediatricians frustrated that the focus was narrowed in on youth sports, rather than congregations in bars and restaurants. “I’ve been calling to say, ‘Shut down the bars completely,’” said Dr. Jason Newland on Monday's St. Louis on the Air . Newland is a pediatric infectious disease specialist and serves as chair of the St. Louis Sports Medicine Task Force.
This page is updated regularly. More than 1,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the St. Louis area since the coronavirus first spread to the region in early spring. New cases began slowing after an initial peak in April but have increased rapidly in the the metro area, Missouri and nationally since late June.
When her illness first began, Celeste Marx didn’t think much of it. She felt more tired than usual and, at times, surprisingly weak. Then she started coughing — and whenever she coughed, she felt like she was going to throw up. “I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what is happening to me?’” said Marx, who lives in south St. Louis County. “I just felt so incredibly lousy.”
The number of people without health insurance has grown by an estimated 100,000 in Missouri and 186,000 in Illinois since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the nonprofit Families USA. Coronavirus-related job losses have meant families are living without health care during a time they need it most, the researchers said. Many fearing high hospital bills are forgoing medical care and putting their lives at risk, doctors said. “Many, many people, millions of people, have lost their job, said Rachel Garfield, co-director of the Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “And for many Americans, health insurance is tied to their employment.”
Water isn’t just the most important substance on Earth. It’s also an astonishingly complicated one. Too much can be just as big a problem as not enough. A new initiative at St. Louis University aims to tackle some of the biggest problems surrounding water and to do it across disciplines. The Water Access, Technology, Environment and Resources Institute launched last month with funds from the SLU Research Institute. The WATER Institute’s new director, Amanda Cox, is a professor of civil engineering at SLU. She explained on St. Louis on the Air that the initiative is the result of a “Big Ideas” competition at the university aimed at identifying university-wide research priorities.
After years of debating whether to expand Medicaid in Missouri, voters will finally get the chance to decide in the August primary election. Currently, the government-funded health insurance program for low-income Missourians and those with disabilities takes up roughly one-third of the state’s $35 billion budget. Supporters of expansion say there are still significant gaps in coverage.
This article about coronavirus aggressive action was originally published by the Center for Public Integrity , a nonprofit newsroom based in Washington, D.C. Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned state and local leaders in a private phone call Wednesday that 11 major cities are seeing increases in the percentage of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 and should take “aggressive” steps to mitigate their outbreaks. The cities she identified were St. Louis, Baltimore, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.
After isolating at home for months, some Missouri residents are contemplating escape. Public health experts are urging people to stay home during the pandemic, particularly as COVID-19 cases spike in cities nationwide. Still, millions of Americans are expected to travel this summer, mostly by car . No trip is truly risk-free — but if you do decide to travel in the coming months, how can you reduce your chances of catching and spreading the coronavirus?
Washington University and St. Louis University will soon begin a series of clinical trials to test potential vaccines in humans. The universities plan to recruit thousands of people in the St. Louis region to test whether these vaccines provide protection against the coronavirus.
Officials in St. Louis say that if the coronavirus keeps spreading in the region, they may have to order businesses to close, limit how many people gather or reinstate other restrictions used to contain the virus earlier this year. The number of people who have tested positive in the St. Louis region is up 28% since last week, with nearly 500 new cases reported every day. Officials are worried that as more people are infected, hospitals will become overwhelmed. “If we continue on this current path that we’re on, it is likely we’ll need to reinstate some of those mitigation strategies we implemented early on in our response,” said Dr. Fred Echols, acting director of the St. Louis Department of Health.
Updated 9:40 a.m. with a statement from city officials. The St. Louis NAACP is considering a federal civil rights lawsuit to force St. Louis officials to remove lead contamination at the Juvenile Detention Center. The NAACP disclosed findings Monday from city water division officials that showed high levels of lead and copper from bathroom sinks at the correctional facility. City documents indicate that the contamination likely came from stagnant water in lead and copper pipes. City officials recommended that the correctional facility flush its water systems to address stagnation. But the city needs to do more to address contamination, said Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis NAACP.
Dozens of inmates at a women’s prison in northern Missouri have fallen ill after contracting the coronavirus. At least 189 inmates and nine employees at Chillicothe Correctional Center are now infected — in what has become the worst coronavirus outbreak at any prison statewide. The facility has isolated the infected inmates, but some criminal justice reform advocates say the outbreak is endangering prisoners and the surrounding community.
The pandemic has affected the mental health of many, including children. The number of young people being treated for self-harm in emergency rooms and psychiatric wards is increasing, said a pediatric emergency medicine physician with SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. “What we’ve seen in the last few months with COVID has been somewhat unprecedented,” said Dr. Rachel Charney on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air . “What we’re seeing is a combination of more children presenting to the emergency department as well as more children needing in-patient psychiatric care … enough that we’re starting to have problems finding enough beds for kids.” Charney said that kids rely on having fairly set social structures. Now many of those structures are gone. “As a result — a combination between that and difficulty accessing care at this point due to COVID causing problems with outpatient visits — I think the combination has definitely led to that rise that we’re seeing,” she said.
Many Black St. Louisans are exhausted by the coronavirus pandemic and the fight to end systemic racism. To help Black people manage mental and physical stress of troubled times, the Collective STL is offering the free five-week wellness series “Just Breathe STL” at the Missouri History Museum beginning Wednesday. Black people need a space to breathe and release tension after seeing a Minneapolis police officer kill George Floyd and the many protests that have followed, said Ericka Harris, one of the Black-owned yoga studio's four owners.
Just as the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 approaches new highs in some parts of the country, hospital data in Kansas and Missouri is suddenly incomplete or missing. The Missouri Hospital Association reports that it no longer has access to the data it uses to guide state coronavirus mitigation efforts, and Kansas officials say their hospital data may be delayed. The Trump administration earlier this week directed hospitals to change how they report data to the federal government and how that data will be made available. In an email, Missouri Hospital Association spokesman Dave Dillon called the move “a major disruption.” “All evidence suggests that Missouri’s numbers are headed in the wrong direction,” Dillon said. “And, for now, we will have very limited situational awareness. That’s all very bad news.” The absence of the data will make it harder for health and public officials, as well as the general public, to understand how the virus is spreading. “It’s hugely
The number of people infected with the coronavirus each day in the Metro East is slowly rising, raising the possibility that Illinois will need to reimpose some lockdown measures to slow the spread of infection. Madison County reported 47 new COVID-19 infections Thursday, the most in a single day since the pandemic hit the region in March. More troubling are St. Clair and Madison counties’ seven-day rolling averages for new infections.
As coronavirus cases surge nationwide, Governor J.B. Pritzker introduced a new plan to address a resurgence in Illinois.
In late June, when a customer at Herbie’s restaurant in Clayton tested positive for the coronavirus, owner Aaron Teitelbaum immediately closed the business and told employees to get tested to see if they were infected. Teitelbaum expected to wait a few days for his employees’ results to come back. But almost three weeks later, many were still waiting — and they had plenty of company. “Our employees did not start to receive any test results for about six days,” Teitelbaum said Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air . “There were some that we are just now inviting back weeks later, and that’s because they’ve just received their results.”
When the coronavirus began spreading in the St. Louis region, Dr. Matifadza Hlatshwayo Davis was about seven months pregnant. Like other doctors at the Washington University School of Medicine, she began to prepare herself in early March for the risks of treating patients who could be contagious with a dangerous virus that experts knew very little about. But after examining a patient who had a fever, cough and other symptoms of COVID-19, she started to wonder if seeing patients in person would be too risky for her and her child.