COVID-19 Trends and Geographic Patterns for Missouri and the St. Louis Metro Area

This page illustrates the COVID-19 situation in Missouri and the Missouri portion of the St. Louis metro area. Unless indicated otherwise, data are from USAFacts.org. Note that we also present data on deaths from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which is arranged by date of death rather than the dates that the deaths were registered, making it a better indicator of trends. On the other hand, it can be several days behind the more-raw data. Finally, note that data for Jackson County includes the parts of Kansas City in other counties.

Also, see our COVID-19 Commentary Page and our analysis of the distribution of COVID-19 by age.

Missouri Relative to the Rest of the US

For context, Missouri has been one of the least-affected states in terms of total cases. As illustrated in the map below, Missouri has the 38th highest rate of confirmed cases. In terms of deaths, however, Missouri has not been as fortunate in that its deaths per million ranks 31st. More recently, Missouri's rate of new cases and deaths place it 13th and 25th in the country, respectively, and it has been rising up both tables. As the growth of cases in states like AZ, TX, and CA seem to have plateaued, Missouri is very close to being among the hotspots in terms of new cases.

Missouri Trends in Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

 

Confirmed cases in Missouri have risen to a new high, increases in St. Louis County and Kansas City (as reflected in the data for Jackson Counties). According to our data, the positivity rate has risen sharply to 

The number of hospitalizations had been trending down as cases rose, but this has reversed over the past three weeks and the daily level of hospitalizations the peak from mid-May. The number of patients on ventilators, which is an indicator of the seriousness of the hospitalizations, has also risen in the past week.

 

Weekly deaths (by day of death) are higher although weekly deaths-by-day-recorded has spiked up. This spike will likely be smoothed out when deaths are assigned to dates of death, but should indicate that deaths per week have risen following the earlier increases in cases and hospitalizations. 

 

Geography continues to play a significant role in the distribution of deaths. Specifically, the recent increases in cases and deaths are driven by the St. Louis area and St. Louis County, respectively. This is a change from recent weeks when the Kansas City and Joplin areas were driving much of the state-level trend.

For more details on state-wide testing and the county-level rates of cases and deaths, see Christopher Prener's Tracking COVID-19 in Missouri page.

The St. Louis Metro Area

 

St. Louis County and St. Louis city had been the state's epicenters for the pandemic, at one point accounting for over 70 percent of the state's total number of confirmed cases. For several weeks after the metro area's counties re-opened, however, the rate of new cases had fallen well below their peaks. More recently, however, cases in the area have risen sharply across the area, leading St. Louis County and City to require masks in public places. 

Although deaths per week have not been increasing in the metro area, hospitalizations have been rising and stand at about 55 percent of the late April peak. The use of ventilators, which is a measure of the seriousness of the hospitalized cases, is up slightly over the past two weeks. Finally, average weekly deaths remain about one-seventh their peak from mid-May.

For more details on all counties in the metro area, as well as zip-code-level data for St. Louis County and City, see Christopher Prener's Tracking COVID-19 in Missouri page.

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The John W. Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise
Lindenwood University

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