MONDAY UPDATES: State of Missouri reports hospital and ICU capacity trending down
The state of Missouri reported 5,697 new and probable coronavirus cases for Monday.
The state of Missouri’s daily average of new coronavirus cases has gone back up to an 8,502 seven-day average (59,512 confirmed cases from the previous week of reporting) as the state reports new coronavirus cases across the state according to state health department reporting. The daily average looks at the last seven days and doesn't account for the past three days, which will push that number even higher.
The state reported 4,979 new coronavirus cases through PCR testing and another 718 probable cases identified in antigen testing from Friday, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services coronavirus dashboard. Missouri has now reported 1,029,456 confirmed cases for the pandemic and more than 246,194 probable cases.
The state recorded no new deaths for 13,872 total and 13 new probable death was added for a total of 3,166.
Missouri's new cases are down 15.4% over the past week, the state reports, as recent cases surge nationwide.
The rate of positive tests is 35.2% for the last week. A higher positivity suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet.
Saline (1), Boone (2), Pettis (6), Miller (9), Callaway (10), Osage (14), Cole (15), Camden, (36), Moniteau (39) and Randolph (40) counties are all in the top 40 Missouri counties in cases per capita over the last week, according to state statistics.
The state reports that 5.96% (a .01% decrease from last Friday) of vaccinated Missourians have developed COVID-19 infections. The state is reporting 200,922 breakthrough cases out of 3,373,172 fully vaccinated people. The state has reported 994 breakthrough deaths.
Experts continue to tout vaccination as the best tool to fight the wave of new cases.
Still, new vaccinations have effectively stalled in Missouri, with more boosters being given daily than first or second shots. The state reported Thursday that 55% of Missouri residents are fully vaccinated.
COVID-19 hospitalizations are also trending down, with the state reporting 16% of total inpatient capacity and 15% of ICU capacity remaining. Those numbers are at 18% and 25% in Central Missouri, respectively. The state is reporting 3,610 patient hospitalizations. There are currently 681 patients in Missouri ICUs.
Hospitals urge Missourians to use emergency rooms for emergencies amid COVID-19 surge
The Missouri Hospital Association is urging Missourians "to reserve emergency departments for emergency needs only in the weeks ahead" because of the extra strain on hospitals from record numbers of patients with COVID-19.
Patients suffering severe or life-threatening issues should use emergency rooms, but those who only need routine care such as coronavirus testing should "seek services in the appropriate environment," the association said in a news release. That includes testing sites, doctors' offices and pharmacies that sell COVID-19 tests.
"Unfortunately, the patient surge — from demand for COVID-19 testing and care, as well as other normal seasonal increases in hospital utilization — is causing hospital ED waiting rooms to fill up," Jon D. Doolittle, president and CEO of the association, said in the release. "This creates a bottleneck because every patient must be screened and treated under federal law, regardless of the seriousness of their condition. In an emergency, a patient should always seek ED care.”
Nearly 3,800 patients with coronavirus were being treated Thursday in Missouri hospitals. The number of COVID-19 patients in the state's hospitals remains higher than previous pandemic waves, including last winter's surge. Hospitals have delayed procedures and shuffled staff around to help meet the excess demand.
MU Health Care reported Monday that it is treating 117 patients with coronavirus . SSM-St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City said Friday that 36% of its patients have the coronavirus and 85% of those are not vaccinated against the virus.
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