As the American Rescue Plan Act causes many eyes to look towards the future the City of St. Louis Department of Health is taking a look into the past. Today at the Joint Boards of Health and Hospital meeting the Department of Health issued a report highlighting the impact COVID-19 during the past year.
The report illustrates trends among COVID-19 cases, testing, and fatalities to shed light on vulnerable communities and regions within the City. “The report provides us with a one-year snapshot of the pandemic and its impact on the City, and will assist in planning our ongoing recovery efforts,” says, Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the City of St. Louis. “The report will be a critical resource in our future public health and safety interventions, including guidance for face covering, social distancing, and the dissemination of vaccine.”
The report emphasizes the important role community partners have played in the City’s response efforts. “We are extremely fortunate to have had such strong collaborative partners assist us this past year. Our metro area hospital systems, Federally Qualified Health Centers, academic institutions, faith-based organizations, St. Louis Unified Health Command, PrepareSTL, and STLTV are a few of the entities that have been front and center in shouldering efforts to protect our resident during the first year of the pandemic,” said Justen Hauser, Emergency Preparedness Planner, for the Department of Health. The Department plans to continue fostering these relationships and building others to assist in making sure its data driven policies work to curb disease transmission.
Key findings from the report reveal:
- Demographic distribution of case counts indicates the most vulnerable populations continue to be African American men and women, and older adults above the age of 50. Case rates among African Americans rose dramatically during the first wave of the pandemic. During the second wave, Asians and African Americans primarily drove the increase in cases. During the third and largest wave, however, Caucasians drove the increase in case counts.
- While previously those aged 20-39 years old were driving the pandemic, the share of daily cases among these ages declined, and case rates among those above the age of 50 have recently been on the rise.
- Fatality data shows the greatest number of fatalities fall in the age group of those older than the age of 80.
- Geographic distribution of case counts illustrates that cases have highest distribution among Central West End, South City and Downtown regions. More specifically, during the lifetime of the pandemic, case counts have increased among zip codes 63111, 63118, 63116, and 63109. time, however current case density is highest among these specific areas.
Department of Health
Office of the Mayor
Immunizations and Public Health