Parkway Community Health Dashboard
Weekly Summary: September 16
This past week we have seen some positive trends in some of the COVID-19 data points.
- The test positivity rate is decreasing in St. Louis County. The COVID-19 positivity rate as of August 31 was 8.3 percent and had been relatively stable since early July, fluctuating between 7.5 and 9.5 percent of those tested. As of September 14, the positivity rate dropped to 5.9 percent. This is a sign that we are nearing adequate COVID testing to help begin to contain the spread of the virus in our community.
- The average number of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed among St. Louis County residents is still significantly elevated, but we are beginning to see some declining numbers in recent 7-day averages, although the latest averages have increased slightly.
- The transmission rate in St. Louis County has risen very slightly to 1.02. The goal is 1.0 or less. This means that the spread of the virus may be increasing. We encourage everyone to be very careful, avoid close contact with non household contacts, wear face coverings outside of the home and use careful hand hygiene. Together as a community, we can work to bring down the rates of infection in our community and help make it safer for our students and staff to return to our buildings.
Number of New Cases
A seven-day moving average of new daily cases per 100,000 is used to account for daily fluctuations that may occur in the data, such as fewer cases being reported on weekends. The intent is to give a more representative view of the ongoing COVID-19 new case rate trends.
- Red: 25+ cases per 100,000
- Orange: 10-24 cases per 100,000
- Yellow: 1-9 cases per 100,000
- Green: Less than 1 case per 100,000
Viral transmission represents the average number of people that one person with COVID-19 is likely to infect. The risk is less when community transmission rates are low.
The target is 1.0 or less. Above 1.0 means increasing the spread and under 1.0 means reducing the spread of the virus.
Test Positivity Rate
The percent positive is exactly what it sounds like: the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are positive. When the test positivity rate is low, it is an indication that there is sufficient testing happening to help curtail the spread of the virus in the community. If the positivity rate is too high, that may indicate that the community is only testing the sickest individuals.
- Red: more than 10 percent positive tests
- Yellow: less than 10 percent and more than five percent positive tests
- Green: less than five percent positive tests
Other Regional K-12 Conditions
The fifth metric we will use includes additional regional and local indicators that impact K-12 schools including those listed below.
Conditions in Parkway
We are following known cases, exposures and quarantines in Parkway based on staff working in our buildings right now and students participating in athletics and Adventure Club.
Rate by Age Group
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health closely tracks new cases of COVID-19 among children and teens and recent data has indicated a steady increase in cases among those 15 to 19 years old. Ninety percent of the cases that have been impacting local schools in the last two weeks have been in middle or high school. In fact, the rate of new cases in this age group is nearly five times the average rate of new cases among younger children. Additionally, the positivity rate of adolescents who fall in the 15 to 19-year-old range, is the highest of all age groups at 20 percent. By contrast, the positivity rate among children aged 5 to 9 is currently at 6 percent.
Click here for the latest update from St. Louis County including the rate of cases by age group.
Regional Case Studies
We are closely watching the operations and outcomes of schools in our region and state that have recently opened with in-person instruction. One outcome we will watch is the ability of large schools or systems to safely remain open and also maintain the staffing levels needed for continuity of learning for students. Click here for the latest information from St. Louis County as of August 31 on cases among school-age children and staff (page 18).
What Can I Do to Help Students Return to School
We must all do our part to improve the health of our community. Wear a face covering, maintain social distancing protocols, avoid large gatherings of people, stay at home when you're not feeling well, and wash your hands frequently. By following these simple health guidelines, you will be helping your family and our Parkway school community. Find out more preventative measures from the Centers for Disease Control.
We wanted to provide this information so that you may track and trend our progress as a community. We ask you to take the necessary steps to improve these numbers. It is up to all of us. Our children belong in our schools and improving these community health indicators provides the greatest likelihood that we will be able to achieve that goal in the near future.