As Dr. Page mentioned this morning, the Department of Public Health is continuing to monitor trends in cases. These trends help guide the response to protect the health and safety of our residents. Over the last few months, the rate of new cases has been highest in St. Louis County within the 20 to 29 age range. However, over the few weeks, the rate of new cases among those in the 15 to 19 age group has risen to an equally high rate. Based on case investigations and contact tracing, the increase of cases in that age group is not attributed to any single location or event. Rather, it’s more the community being in public and active.
This increase is not unexpected, but it is concerning. While teens are less likely to have severe health outcomes from COVID-19, they can become quite sick and spread the virus to others in their family who are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill. This again is an opportunity to stress how important it is to continue to practice personal protective measures. Remember, masks are required in schools and in public places. Be diligent, practice social distancing and wash your hands. If you have any symptoms, no matter how minor, please stay home to limit the exposure to others.
The virus spreads easily and it spreads fast. Take care of yourself. By doing so, you are taking care of others.
This morning, Dr. Page also gave an update on the participatory budgeting program for up to $7 million in CARES Acts funds. The Department of Public Health engaged with residents in 18 ZIP codes, 17 in North County and one in the southeast part of the county, on how they would like to see the $7 million spent on healthcare.
The targeted areas were chosen based on census and other data including median household income, unemployment rate, percentage of people uninsured and rate of COVID-19 in that part of the county.
The residents prioritized the following five areas:
There were 38 applications from more than two dozen agencies that applied to provide the services, and 13 of the organizations have received a Notice of Award for the funding. That represents more than $2.2 million. Our Department of Public Health is still reviewing other applications and is working to award more funding for services in the near future.
For clarification purposes, the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health has not amended its Youth Sports Guidelines. At this time, the current guidelines remain in effect until further notice, are posted online in its entirety and can be found online here. Again, no additional changes have been or plan to be made to Youth Sports Guidance at this time.