CITY HALL – St. Louis’ latest COVID-19 numbers are “really excellent,” Mayor Lyda Krewson said Wednesday in her press conference on Facebook. The number of people in the hospital because of the coronavirus has been under 300 for four or five days in a row.
On Wednesday, 271 people were hospitalized, up a little from the day before but under that 300 line. Thirty-seven people were on ventilators, and 18 new patients were admitted.
Krewson called the trend “encouraging.” She noted that the city had begun reopening businesses three weeks ago and had not experienced a big uptick in cases. She reminded viewers, however, that the period of likely infections from Memorial Day activities hasn’t passed; and that recent protests, with their crowds, may encourage the spread of the virus.
Krewson shared a piece of good news about the handling of the pandemic: The city now has 250,000 diagnostic tests , enough so that anyone who wants it can now get it, free, at federally qualified health centers. St. Louis is the first city in the region that has enough to offer testing to anyone who wants it, she said.
Another encouraging bit of news is that the city’s large venues, which got the OK to open on Monday, are drawing plenty of public attention. So many people sought admission to the Zoo through its website that it crashed briefly, she said.
“What that tells you is that people are ready to get out and about.”
On a more somber note, Krewson explained that her appearance at that afternoon’s press conference might seem more “restrained,” because she had spent the morning at the funeral service for retired former city police Capt. David Dorn. Dorn was killed June 2 while protecting a friend’s pawn shop from looters during protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Krewson called the service beautiful, with wonderful comments about how smart and funny Dorn had been. She spoke with his family, and described the whole experience as sobering.
“He was a real hero,” she said.
On Thursday, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department honored Dorn.
“We are honored to award Ret. Capt. David Dorn with the Distinguished Service Award, honoring officers who exemplified an act of outstanding bravery at the risk of imminent personal danger to his/her life,” the department said in a statement. His wife, St. Louis police Sgt. Ann Dorn, accepted the award in his honor.