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Majority Of St. Louis County Residents Still Susceptible To COVID-19

St. Lous County Executive Sam Page spoke about the coronavirus outbreak on the Politically Speaking podcast on Wednesday, March 25, 2020
File photo / Bill Greenblatt
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page talks about the coronavirus outbreak in March. A recent survey by the Institute of Public Health at Washington University shows that one out of 100 county residents had an active case of COVID-19 from August to October.

Only a small fraction of St. Louis County residents have antibodies to the coronavirus, according to a recent survey launched by the Institute of Public Health at Washington University.

“Even though the region did take a pretty severe hit in March and April, we still have a community and population that is very susceptible to COVID,” said Dr. Elvin Geng, an infectious disease professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

“The fact that the vast majority of people in the region are susceptible means that we could cross that threshold above the capacity of the health system pretty easily,” he said.

More than 1,300 adults in St. Louis County were tested for COVID-19 and its antibodies from August to October for the survey. The results show that one out of 100 people had an active case of COVID-19 during that time and that five out of 100 had antibodies to the coronavirus, which suggests they had been infected at one point.

The study also found that Black county residents were more than twice as likely to have had COVID-19 when compared to white residents.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.