St. Louis County Recommends Masks As COVID-Level Rises To ‘High’
It's not over 'til it's over. The St. Louis County Public Health Department has increased the COVID-19 Community Level to a new level and has also issued a new guidance on masking in public, indoor spaces.
On Friday, May 20, the COVID-19 Community Level for St. Louis County was increased to 'high'. The decision to raise this level was made by reviewing the following three factors - as determined by the Centers for Disease Control:
- New COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the past week
- The percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients
- Total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past week
Reviewing local numbers, St. Louis County is averaging 112 reported confirmed cases per day over the last week. This represents the highest it's been since mid-February.
One of the elements that's exasperating COVID-numbers is the migration towards personal or in-house tests rather than those attained at a public health setting. Many people - if not most - who self-test at home aren't reporting positives; those positive COVID-19 results that remain unreported to county health officials never make their way into the public counted numbers.
With a 'high' Community Level comes the recommendation by the county for face masks to be work in indoor public spaces. It's worth noting that this is not a requirement at this time, only a recommendation.
People who are considered 'high risk' for developing serious complications from COVID-19 should talk to their healthcare provider to see if they should be taking additional precautions.
Other recommendations from St. Louis County Public Health are to get tested if symptomatic or exposed to a confirmed case. Additionally, everyone is asked to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
St. Louis County is recommending masks be worn inside all county buildings - for both staff and visitors - beginning May 23.