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St. Louisans say COVID cases are rising

We asked St. Louis adults if they had heard “COVID cases are rising” in the past week. Almost half (46%) said “yes” and nearly all of them (93%) believed it was true. 

  When the same respondents were asked about their own COVID precautions such as mask-wearing, hand-washing, avoiding close contact or large gatherings, 11% reported that they are taking more precautions than the prior week. This is the highest precaution rate we have recorded since March 2023. 

  Sewershed surveillance in the St. Louis region shows that the amount of COVID-19 virus in wastewater increased by 94.1% from July 14 to Aug 14. The amount of virus in St. Louis wastewater is still low compared to earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, but is increasing. 

  “Historically, the level of virus in wastewater is a very good correlate to the number of infections,” according to Matt Haslam, epidemiologist at the City of St. Louis Department of Health. “So, we use this type of surveillance as a reliable indicator of community transmission.” 

  Emerging evidence suggests that the newest COVID variants, EG.5 (Eris) and BA.2.86 (Pirola), can be detected with existing tests and does not make people sicker than previous variants. Existing treatments also work against the new variants (Yale Medicine). The current CDC guideline for anyone who tests positive recommends staying home for at least 5 days and isolating from others in their home. Check your workplace or school for organization-specific guidelines. 

Explore these data and more at iHeardSTL.

This week’s report is based on 160 responses from a panel of adult residents of St. Louis City and County surveyed from Saturday, August 26, to Monday, August 28, 2023.

Download the infographics below to share about this topic on social media.

Suggested caption:

When should you test for COVID? Test immediately if you have symptoms! If you do not have symptoms but have been exposed to COVID-19, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before taking a test. 


Suggested caption:

Do these 4 things if you test positive for COVID: Stay home and isolate for 5 days, notify others you were with in the last 2 days, ask a doctor about next steps, and wear a mask if around others and on days 6-10 after your positive test.


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