COVID infections in county declining, vaccination and booster rates rising

Over half of residents in county are fully vaccinated

St.+Louis+County+Executive+Sam+Page%2C+right%2C+and+his+wife%2C+Jennifer%2C+head+to+the+polls+Tuesday+morning+in+Creve+Coeur+to+vote+for+Page+in+the+Democratic+primary.+Jennifer+Page+was+dressed+in+scrubs+to+head+to+her+job+at+Mercy+Hospital+South.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, right, and his wife, Jennifer, head to the polls Tuesday morning in Creve Coeur to vote for Page in the Democratic primary. Jennifer Page was dressed in scrubs to head to her job at Mercy Hospital South.

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

After implementing a new countywide mask mandate at the end of September, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced this week that infection rates in the county are declining while vaccination rates continue to increase. 

About 53-percent of county residents are fully vaccinated, and a large portion of vaccines given daily are boosters. Of the 2,705 average daily doses, 1,780 are boosters, 446 are second doses and 479 are first doses. 

Despite the decline in infection rates and the increase in vaccinations, Page said in a press conference Oct. 18 the county would continue to require masking in indoor public places for anyone 5 and older, regardless of vaccination status. 

“Until young children can get the vaccine, we can not risk putting them in danger by relaxing a simple requirement,” Page said. “I believe the majority of America knows sacrifices must be made to get through challenging times.”

The mandate was set to be heard in St. Louis County court Monday – after The Call went to press. Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a motion Sept. 30 to compel discovery, stating that Page and Acting Public Health Director Faisal Khan had not offered enough evidence of the need for a mask mandate. 

“The County Executive’s latest attempt to impose his will on the people of St. Louis County is ridiculous and illegal. … Moreover, St. Louis County is refusing to produce the discovery that we requested,” Schmitt stated in a press release. “We filed a motion to compel to find out exactly what St. Louis County is hiding.”

Schmitt had previously filed an injunction against the mandate from July, which was upheld by the courts until a judge dissolved the injunction last week, ruling that the September mandate properly replaced the July mandate. 

“Every day we are closer to where we need to be to get past this pandemic, but we must remain vigilant,” Page said. “With cooler weather, that means more people indoors, more opportunity for spread. We don’t know what form the virus will take next. The Delta variant drove our numbers up again.” 

As of Monday, the county was averaging 153 new cases a day, with a 6.4 percent positivity rate. 

South County currently has some of the highest positivity rates in the county. The 63126 zip code has averaged 284 new cases per 100,000 in the past 14 days, followed by 276 in 63129 and 262 in 63128.

Revivestl.com has a full list of vaccine clinics in the county and can be used to locate the closest one.