COVID-19 cases increase across several categories in St. Louis area

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UPDATED at 3 p.m. Saturday with latest coronavirus numbers from Missouri and Illinois health officials.ST. LOUIS — A dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases across Missouri appears for now to be leveling off, even as health officials in St. Louis reported Saturday that hospitalizations have increased as have the number of patients using a ventilator or receiving intensive care.The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, which represents the four major health systems in the region, reported that 56 new patients were admitted to the hospital, up 10 from the prior day. Patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose from 248 to 252, and the number of patients suspected of having the disease rose from 106 to 115.There were roughly 240 patients either known to have COVID-19 or suspected to have it in late June.The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations, considered a better way of tracking trends, rose slightly — increasing by one to 246.The number of patients in the ICU increased from 63 to 67 and there were three more patients placed on ventilators, for a total of 32.The task force said that 19 patients were discharged Friday, bringing the total released from hospitals to 3,921.There has been an increase in positive cases in recent …

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