Hospitalizations for the coronavirus have risen in recent days across Missouri, according to data from the state health department.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that three of the four highest days for hospitalizations have occurred over the past week.
The most recent data shows 1,021 patients in hospitals with confirmed or presumed COVID-19 on Saturday, the second-highest day on record. The highest was Sept. 9, when 1,040 patients were hospitalized. The fourth-highest number of hospitalizations on record occurred Friday, with 1,008 patients.
The number of confirmed cases has risen dramatically since the state reopened for business in mid-June. Missouri reported 1,317 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 105,396 since counting began in March. Eighteen more deaths also were reported. All told, 1,732 Missourians have died from COVID-19.
Page maintains power in St. Louis County
The St. Louis County Council on Tuesday turned aside two bills that sought to take away pandemic-related power from County Executive Sam Page and the health department.
St. Louis County has had more cases and deaths than any other Missouri jurisdiction, and Page, a Democrat, has initiated stricter guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus than those required statewide by Republican Gov. Mike Parson.
Among those restrictions are limits on youth sports competitions, which have drawn several protests and rallies in recent days.
One bill turned down by the council would have given it more involvement in how long a pandemic-related emergency declaration from the county executive could last. The other bill would have required two-thirds of council members to approve extending orders from the health department director.
The council, in a 4-3 vote, declined to take up either bill.
More mask mandates
At least two more jurisdictions are taking new steps aimed at slowing the virus’ spread.
The St. Francois County Health Board in southeast Missouri on Tuesday approved a countywide mask mandate, the Park Hills Daily Journal reported.
The approval came despite heated opposition and protests from some residents of the county, which is about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis.
Meanwhile, St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray signed an emergency order mandating face coverings in most indoor areas except homes. The St. Joseph News-Press reported that the mandate takes effect Thursday. The mask mandate comes as hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been spiking in St. Joseph.