ST. Charles – Two residents of the Health and Rehabilitation Frontier have died due to complications from COVID-19, bringing the number of deaths in skilled care facilities to eight, the St. Charles Public Health Department reported on Saturday.
A woman in her 70s and a woman in her 60s succumbed to fast-moving diseases, which has made dozens of people sick at the St. Charles, officials said.
Frontier, at 2840 West Clay Street, accommodates 113 patients, mostly elderly who are recovering from medical procedures. It was the first residential care facility in the St. Louis who reported COVID-19 cases.
At least a dozen nursing homes in the St. Louis has reported COVID-19 cases, and deaths have been reported at the St. Louis Life Care Center. Louis and the Grandview Health Center in Washington.
Also Saturday, the Missouri Veterans Commission confirmed the first deaths among its seven facilities. A resident of St. Veterans’ House Louis, who has been hospitalized since March 27, died Friday from the virus, the state agency said.
After the first case was reported in Missouri on March 7, the commission restricted access to visitors, sellers, and volunteers in all state veterans’ homes, he said.
Missouri now has 4,024 COVID-19 cases and 109 known deaths, health officials said Saturday. That’s up 225 cases and 13 deaths from Friday.
In St. Louis County, officials reported 29 new cases and nine new deaths, totaling 1,524 cases and 42 deaths. No new deaths have been reported in the city of St. Louis or Jefferson or Franklin.
The total number of reported cases increased by 51 in St. Louis, to 645. St. Charles County reported a total of 349 known cases and 13 deaths. Positive cases in Jefferson County increased by four, to 117, with three deaths total. Franklin County reported 12 new cases, with a total of 83 cases, and no new deaths added to the total of three cases.
Cases in Metro East increased by 10, to 319, with 12 deaths.
The number of patients known or suspected to be infected by COVID-19 in regional hospital beds, ICU beds and on the ventilator only changed slightly from Friday’s number, moving up or down by only one digit, according to the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, a group of local health system and hospital. There were 592 patients in hospital beds, 211 in ICU beds and 157 in ventilators.
Alex Garza, head of the task force, said in Saturday’s briefing that the numbers would “recede and flow,” but he still believed that the area was on a steep part of the case-increasing curve and would see a surge in the next few weeks. But he said steps taken to combat the virus helped, and he encouraged local residents to keep washing their hands, keeping a social distance, and other practices.
“The reason we are doing this is for the good of the larger community,” Garza said. He said that 49 COVID-19 patients were discharged from the hospital on Friday.
Officials in the St. Louis and around the world order people to stay home and attend online services or watching them on television rather than gathering to celebrate Easter or Easter. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker even forbids residents to attend “driving” religious services.
Illinois officials on Saturday reported 1,293 new cases and 81 new deaths, with a total of 19,180 reported cases and 677 deaths. Chicago and Cook County and the closest districts of Will, Lake and DuPage account for 88% of cases and state deaths.
Pritzker announced a new remote health monitoring program intended to protect those who might be infected with COVID-19 at home if they do not need more intensive care. The program includes daily virtual health visits. Some patients will also be equipped with medical equipment to measure temperature, oxygen levels in the blood and blood pressure, he said. This is intended to limit the spread of the virus by keeping patients with symptoms that are not too severe in their homes and prevent the hospital from being overwhelmed, Pritzker said.
Those who show symptoms of infection, or who are at high risk of infection, and want to participate, can contact the hotline to determine whether they are eligible. In Southern Illinois and Metro East, that number is 217-545-5100. The program will start for the region on Monday. For the middle east and north central Illinois, program now live, and can be contacted by calling 833-673-5669.
Pritzker also announced a free emotional support telephone service called “Call4Calm” from the Illinois Department of Human Health’s Mental Department Division. Residents who are interested in talking to a counselor should send a “talk” message to 552020, or “hablar” to contact a Spanish-speaking advisor. The caller will receive back the text asking for their first name and ZIP code, and then link it to an advisor from the local community mental health center, officials said.
Pritzker, responding to people who told him that they were concerned about how children were processing everything they saw and heard about the pandemic, held a virtual city hall for children at 5 pm. Saturday at Facebook page Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Chicago.
Leah Thorsen from Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.
Updated at 7:20 a.m.