ST. LOUIS COUNTY (August 4, 2020) - Cases of COVID-19 and deaths from the virus are sharply down in long-term care facilities in St. Louis County, a new report shows.
The report, issued by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, shows the number of new COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities fell from a high of 674 in May to 130 in July. Similarly, COVID-19 deaths in these facilities fell from 202 in May to 11 in July.
The reductions in cases and in deaths reflect an intense emphasis on protecting the segment of our population most vulnerable to the disease.
When the pandemic began, St. Louis County quickly put in place a High-Risk Task Force to work closely with our long-term care facilities. Those efforts got national attention when the Centers for Medicine and Medicaid Services cited the work in a publication the agency wrote on the pandemic in nursing homes. The state of Missouri has replicated such response efforts statewide as a result of our program.
“I am proud of St. Louis County’s Department of Public Health’s implementation of thoughtful, compassionate, and effective guidelines that are being recognized on a national level,” County Executive Sam Page said.
DPH works with facilities to ensure that aggressive mitigation measures are in place, assist in stocking personal protective equipment and cleaning and to make certain that testing is readily available. This vital work is done in coordination with the State Section for Long Term Care Regulations, who license these facilities, and the Saint Louis County High Risk Task Force. The existence of cases in facilities should not be interpreted as an indictment of the care residents receive — close quarters and the age/chronic health conditions of many residents have made long-term care facilities vulnerable to outbreaks.
In all, 1,798 residents of 81 LTCs have tested positive for COVID-19, and 416 of these residents have died, for a case-fatality rate of 23.1% among LTC residents as of July 27, the report shows. These cases account for 15.5% of St. Louis County’s COVID-19 cases and 64.4% of the County’s COVID-19 deaths.
The report, which is attached to this email, can also be found here at stlcorona.com.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline: (877) 435-8411. St. Louis County COVID-19 website: stlcorona.com. Please follow the St. Louis County Department of Public Health on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for daily updates. @StLouisCoDOH