St. Louis County is rapidly approaching the CDC’s “red zone” designation for widespread community transmission as a new wave of COVID-19 cases emerge. 

The county is now averaging 191 new COVID cases per day, with about 9% of tests coming back positive for the virus.

On Wednesday, July 21, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page expressed grave concern about the inequalities present in this stage of the pandemic. 

“Black children ages 12 to 15 are not getting vaccinated at the same rate as white children,” Page said, highlighting data from a St. Louis University analysis which shows that while 47% of white teens have started the vaccination process, only 16% of Black children have done the same. Likewise, the ZIP codes with the highest case counts are concentrated in North County.

St. Louis County and St. Louis City health officials are urging everyone who is not vaccinated to do so, and asking everyone to wear masks in crowded public places regardless of vaccination status. 

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force also urged all residents, even those who have been vaccinated, to wear a mask in any public place where the vaccination status of others is not known.

As another part of its vaccination strategy, St. Louis County will launch a new public information campaign, Revive STL, in the coming days. The campaign will spread awareness about vaccination and safety through real people’s stories, with a focus on areas where vaccination rates are low.

Page urges all residents ages 12 and over to get vaccinated through a county clinic or one of dozens of other local vaccination sites. The vaccine is free and no appointment is necessary.