STL on massive COVID surge, testing sites requiring appointments

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

St. Louis County is undergoing its worst COVID surge in a year, topping out at more than 1,000 new cases Dec. 23.

County Executive Sam Page announced yesterday the average positive cases per day is over 600, and the increase is overwhelming testing sites. 

“If you experience any symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19 … get tested,” Page said. “DPH testing sites are currently experiencing high volumes, so appointments are necessary.”

Appointments can be made at revivestl.com. 

The new Omicron variant may be a part of the surge in cases. Page said it is three to five times more contagious than the Delta variant. The surge is also affecting the St. Louis County Police Department — in December alone, 53 employees tested positive for COVID.

The county health department is still looking for a way to reinstate a mask mandate after the ruling in Cole County and a letter from Attorney General Eric Schmitt demanded schools and health authorities halt mask mandates and other COVID mitigation measures. Page said the county has filed to appeal the ruling, joining Jackson County in the process.

“The confusion has led to some county public health departments abandoning their response to rising COVID cases out of fear that the wrath of the state will descend upon them,” Page said. “The attorney general chose to not step up and appeal the Cole County case, ignoring his sworn duty to protect residents. Instead he is playing to an anti-vax crowd who he believes will help get him into a higher office.”