COVID winter surge beginning

The+Affton+School+District+held+a+vaccination+event+for+its+teachers+and+other+staff+members+the+first+day+teachers+were+eligible+for+the+COVID-19+vaccine+Monday%2C+March+15.+Other+school+districts+like+Mehlville+and+Lindbergh+have+also+hosted+events+to+vaccinate+their+staff.+

The Affton School District held a vaccination event for its teachers and other staff members the first day teachers were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, March 15. Other school districts like Mehlville and Lindbergh have also hosted events to vaccinate their staff.

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

Cases and positivity rates for COVID are up in St. Louis County after a recent lull.

Cases are up to new cases 189 per day, a 30 percent increase from last week. The new rate lands the county in the high transmission category, according to metrics from the Centers for Disease Control. County Executive Sam Page said increases in cases and positivity rates aren’t following a trend — every age group is affected, although 5-14 year olds still have the highest infection rates.

“Public health experts tell us these continued increases in numbers represent what is likely the beginning of a winter surge,” Page said at a press briefing Monday. “More indoor gatherings are around the corner as the holiday season begins. Such gatherings can increase the risk of spread.”

Page said the best way to combat this possible surge is to get vaccinated — 61 percent of county residents have at least one shot, but boosters are heavily outweighing the rate of new shots. 

Child doses are still being distributed in the county, but availability depends on how many are sent in.

“Kids, listen to Big Bird. Sesame Street has long been a place to educate and entertain children … The message that a vaccine will keep children healthy is not propaganda,” Page said.

Big Bird recently announced on Twitter that he got vaccinated. The announcement was met with some vitriol from the anti-vaccine community.