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DPH COVID-19 Update 10/23/2020

As the holiday season approaches, be sure to keep yourself and those around you safe by avoid large crowds or gatherings.

  • Oct 23, 2020
  • News & Updates

 Large Gatherings

As the holiday season approaches, be sure to keep yourself  and those around you safe by avoid large crowds or gatherings. In communities where there may be events of this nature, please consider the following: 

  • A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event.
  • The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.
  • The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering.
  • The size of an event or gathering should be determined based on state, local, territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations.
  • Organizers of any large, public gathering must submit a COVID-19 safety plan to DPH. Unless the plan is approved, the gathering is not permitted. Email to [email protected]

For additional information and recommendations from the CDC click here.

Buzz Westfall Center​

The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has identified an additional six cases of COVID-19 among incarcerated individuals at the Buzz Westfall Justice Center, bringing the total number of positive cases discovered since Oct. 2 to 49.

Four of the six new cases were discovered in tests taken during the intake process and are not related to this month’s outbreak. Two of the new patients had been in the facility’s population when tested. All patients were isolated from the general jail population.

All of the facility’s approximately 900 incarcerated individuals have now been tested and many are being retested. Sixteen patients who tested positive in the first wave of testing have completed their isolation, are no longer infectious and have been returned to the general population.

Most patients in the facility are asymptomatic. None who are symptomatic exhibit moderate or severe symptoms, and they are frequently evaluated by medical providers. Adjustments have been made to facilitate isolation in single cells for each patient who requires it.

On Oct. 2, an incarcerated patient tested positive during routine screening. The patient, who had previously tested negative for the disease, was transferred to the facility’s COVID unit. Employees of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health immediately began additional PCR testing of inmates and employees who had had contact with the patient.

Before that case, DPH had detected no evidence of transmission of the virus within the facility. All previous cases were traced to transmission before the individual entered the facility.

To support our COVID patients’ connection to their families, the Community Liaison program was expanded to allow patients to allow Corrections Medicine to share a specific set of information with identified family members. Incarcerated patients have access to telephones at least twice daily, and facility employees are encouraging patients and close contacts to keep their families updated. Families of incarcerated individuals who would like more information are encouraged to email [email protected] or call 314-615-JAIL (5245) and ask for the Medical Community Liaison, who will address their concerns and facilitate communication with family members.