Youth Sports Blamed for Driving Spread of COVID-19 in St. Louis County

click to enlarge Sam Page is giving the side-eye to sports gatherings. - Susan Lloyd / Flickr
Sam Page is giving the side-eye to sports gatherings.

If you want your kids to be able to go to school this fall, you might need to keep them off of the field until then.

In a press conference this morning, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said there has been a large increase in COVID-19 cases in the county, with more than 8,000 residents testing positive so far.

“This number had flattened significantly early in the summer, but we’ve seen it start to pick up here in St. Louis County and across the country," Page said. "We reported yesterday that 243 new residents tested positive for COVID-19 in St. Louis County in the previous 24 hours. This was the second-highest number of positives in St. Louis County since this pandemic started.”

Page cites three reasons for the increase in reported positive test results:

  1. An increase in testing. St. Louis county is currently testing 1,800 people per day.
  2. Some private labs are reporting their testing in “clumps.” The testing labs are so overwhelmed that they’re releasing results in large groups instead of trickling out over time. That means that numbers can jump overnight.
  3. There are so many people “out and about.” Page reports that they’re seeing large increases in the age groups of ten to nineteen years old and  20 to 29 years old.

“We know gatherings of young people and adults around youth sports are the primary source of spread in the community,” Page said. “We’re looking at those guidelines now, and we’re going to make a decision on whether or not youth and adult sports guidelines need to be adjusted.”

Page said they hope to have this figured out by the end of the week and are consulting with pandemic experts.

So if you’re letting your kid play sports outside this summer, bring your own chair and stay away from the bleachers and crowds of other parents. And, as always, wearing a mask and keeping your distance from others (even outdoors) is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You can watch Page's entire press conference below.

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About The Author

Jaime Lees

Jaime Lees is a digital content editor for the Riverfront Times.
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