ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — Here are the latest COVID-19 updates for the St. Louis area.
The number of people hospitalized in St. Louis with COVID-19 went up again Thursday, with the virus showing no signs of letting up in the area.
As of Thursday, 681 people were in St. Louis area hospitals with confirmed COVID-19. Another 165 people in the hospital are suspected of having the virus, but test results are pending.
The 681 people in the hospital is the most since the virus outbreak began in March.
St. Louis County questions Parson’s K-12 guidance
The St. Louis County Department of Health responded to Governor Parson’s k-12 COVID-19 guidance, saying “now is not the time to weaken our quarantine policies. Doing so would reduce the effectiveness of one of the most powerful tools we have to prevent spread.”
A statement from the health department added, “every part of the state is unique, but schools in St. Louis County have seen significant transmissions of COVID-19 among teachers and students. Cases and hospitalizations in our region are surging….The advice also contravenes guidance from the CDC. For these reasons, we have no final decision on adopting the state’s recommendations and will continue to use our data to protect this community.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced new guidance aimed at keeping more kids, teachers and staff in school, even those who have been exposed to the coronavirus.
The Republican governor says quarantines interrupt learning and create staff shortages.
The University of Missouri will temporarily shift to remote learning after Thanksgiving.
While the university reports an 80% decrease in active cases since Labor Day weekend, the decision to go to remote learning for the last three weeks of the semester was based on a surge in cases in the broader Columbia/Boone County community.
Illinois officials on Thursday announced a new record for daily COVID-19 cases reported in a single day.
The state reported 12,702 new cases, which is up from the previous two days, in which records had been set.
The 5,258 hospital patients is also a record mark, topping the number reached in late April, after officials scrambled to construct a mobile field hospital at the monstrous McCormick Place Convention Center and rehabilitated sections of in several Chicago-area hospitals for fear of running out of traditional beds.
Missouri sets new case records
Missouri on Thursday reported a new record number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day. The state said 4,603 people tested positive in the last 24 hours as the positivity rate ticked up to 22.4 percent, also a record.
Antidepressant may prevent COVID-19 patients from developing serious symptoms
A study conducted by Washington University shows that a drug prescribed for depression and related conditions may prevent COVID-19 patients from developing serious symptoms.
According to the study, fluvoxamine, which is used for depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, prevented serious complications, and made the need for hospitalization and oxygen less likely in COVID-19 patients.
The study involved 152 COVID-19 patients recovering at home, 80 patients were given the drug and 72 were given the placebo over a two-week period.
Parson relaxes Missouri’s K-12 school quarantine guidance
Modifications to Missouri’s K-12 school reopening and operating guidance were announced Thursday morning.
Governor Mike Parson was joined by officials from the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education during a press conference Thursday morning to announce the modifications after large numbers of school students and staff members were quarantined in recent weeks across the state.
The new guidance stresses proper mask wearing may prevent people from being identified as close contacts in K-12 schools. According to the guidance, if two people wore masks and one tested positive for COVID-19 then the exposed individual will not need to quarantine as long as they do not show symptoms.
Anyone deemed a close contact should still quarantine for 14 days if the school does not require masks or if a mask was not worn by the person with the coronavirus or the person who was exposed.
Illinois officials urge residents to stay at home amid spike
The Illinois Department of Health is asking residents to only leave home for “essential activities” to help decease the COVID-19 positivity rate.
After the state’s seven-day positivity rate reached 13.6% from Nov. 4-Nov. 10, the health department released the guidelines in an effort to slow the spread.
The guidelines ask that residents work from home, participate in only essential activities and limit travel and gatherings for the next three weeks.
Wednesday – 9:55 p.m.
New restrictions coming to St. Louis County
New COVID-19 restrictions in St. Louis County could be announced as soon as Thursday, a spokesman for County Executive Sam Page said.
The restrictions are being considered as the number of COVID-19 cases in the St. Louis area continues to rise and hospitalizations surge. Wednesday, the number of coronavirus patients admitted to St. Louis-area hospitals hit a new record. Illinois also set a single-day record for COVID-19 cases Wednesday.
A total shutdown is not likely to be on the table, a spokesman said, but the measures will entail restrictions on capacity.
Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved