After declining throughout the first few weeks of September, hospitalizations in the St. Louis region have also risen recently. The seven-day average of new daily admissions was 35 on Sunday, up from 31 on Sept. 21, according to data from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force.
The task force data lags by two days, and includes patient numbers from BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s Hospital facilities in the metro area.
The St. Louis Department of Health has urged attendees of a recent bike rally to seek screening for COVID-19. The five-day event, Bikefest Lake of the Ozarks, ended on Sept. 20. Last year it drew about 125,000 people to the area.
The department said that attendees of the event may be at a higher risk for the virus, and should seek testing.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced last week that the state COVID-19 public hotline will no longer be available 24 hours a day. The department said that calls will now be accepted from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, when 93% of calls have been coming in recently.
The hotline is available for citizens and health care providers who need guidance related to COVID-19. The department said the hotline has been receiving about 3,000 calls each week recently. Call volumes peaked in late March, with the hotline at one point receiving more than 15,000 calls in one week.